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Fianna Fáil out of touch with low income workers – Ó Laoghaire

7 July, 2016 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD


Speaking this evening on Fianna Fails position regarding Sinn Féin’s PMB on banded hour contracts, Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire expressed his utter disappointment at their position of preventing this bill passing second stage.

The Cork South Central TD said:

“I’m surprised that Fianna Fail took the stance that they did on this Bill. I was extremely disappointed by their apparent willingness to put this issue on the back burner. They appear to have become completely disconnected from those who struggle weekly to make ends meet.

“This Bill was brought before the house in an attempt to address the stresses and strains those low paid and low hours workers endure from week to week. It was to provide an element of certainty to the income of their households, and prevent those workers from being exploited by businesses who view these practices and contacts as cost effective. Not only is this a position of moral ambiguity on the part of these businesses, it is an attack on the rights of workers. It is well known that fair treatment of workers leads to a happy work environment and significantly better output as a result; so it almost seems counter intuitive.

“This was a strong piece of legislation, supported and endorsed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and Mandate. It was more than worthy of going past second stage, and being amended at committee stage, if parties desired. I regret that the government did not back this constructive legislation which would have dealt with an issue ongoing for far too long.

“However, I was disappointed greatly by Fianna Fáil’s position, who tried to defer the matter for 12 more months, which would mean some 15 months before this issue could be dealt with.

“They also showed remarkable brass neck in claiming during debate that their position was backed by the ICTU, a fact which ICTU publicly disavowed. The Bill was supported by Independents 4 Change, the Labour Party, PBP, AAA, the Green Party, and several independents.

“These workers require their issues to be addressed now, not in 12 or 15 months’ time as was suggested. We in Sinn Féin are committed to, and stand by, those in exploitative situations. Fianna Fail however do not seem to have it anywhere near their list of priorities.” 

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