Low paid workers deserve better than Fianna Fáil’s playacting – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking during Sinn Féin’s private members’ business in the Dáil this evening urging support for the Banded Hours Contract Bill 2016, has said low-paid workers deserve the support of all TDs and parties, not Fianna Fáil playing politics with their livelihoods.
Teachta Adams said:
“The ill-treatment of workers on low hour contracts, especially in the retail sector, is an issue that must be tackled. There are, regrettably, too many instances of workers on part-time contracts for years, contracted for 15 hours a week for example, but working 30 hour and 40 hour weeks - week in, week out.
“They are working full-time hours, but remain on short-hour, insecure contracts, and can have their hours cut at any time at the whim of their employer. Yet, they are effect, full-time permanent staff; unable to avail of the benefits a fixed, full-time contract would afford them.
“Some workers see their hours vary wildly from one week to the next, making the essentials –organising childcare, paying rent or their mortgage or meeting bills – unduly difficult, and in many cases, impossible. We can’t, as legislators, allow such a situation to continue.
“This Bill provides that a worker, or their union representative, would be entitled, after six months of continuous employment, to make a request to the employer to be moved to an increased weekly band of hours.
“It is unjustifiable for such employers to keep the bulk of their staff on part-time contracts and copper fasten the cost of living crisis by causing undue hardship to families who cannot be sure of what they will earn from one week to the next.
“Workers deserve fair wages, fair conditions, and fairness in being able to plan their lives.
“Fianna Fáil have behaved disgracefully in tabling an amendment to delay this Bill by a year this evening, and indeed over the past two months. It’s been U-turn after U-turn - on water charges, on bin charges, on NAMA, on the national monument in Moore Street, and on rent certainty.
“This is motivated by the Fianna Fáil’s leaderships desire to keep Fine Gael in Government until they decide to pull the plug at some point most advantageous to their ambition to form a Government themselves. There’s no other reason for this Fianna Fáil amendment. It’s all about political power. This isn’t ‘new politics’. It’s a joke.”