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Senator Paul Gavan calls For Government Action on Hotel Workers Concerns

4 July, 2018 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Government to take action with regard to a host of serious concerns highlighted by workers from the hospitality sector and their union SIPTU.

Following a presentation by SIPTU members to a cross party meeting of TD’s, Senators and Parliamentary staff Senator Gavan said;

“It is clear that the hotels and hospitality sector badly needs a Sectoral Employment Order to address key concerns around rates of pay, working conditions, the casualisation of work in the sector, and the ongoing refusal of the Irish Hotels Federation to engage in collective bargaining with workers and their unions.

"SIPTU members at the presentation told of how rates of pay are rock-bottom in the industry with 3 out of 4 workers earning less than €400 per week. They also cited the prevalence of zero and low hours work, and work schedules that demand that one worker clean up to 30 rooms in s single shift. Those present also heard of chefs being paid as little as €10 per hour.

“This race to the bottom in terms and conditions is happening at the same time as the Government is affording the sector an annual subventions of half a billion Euros in the form of a reduced VAT rate.

“Sinn Féin have been consistent in calling for an end to this reduced rate with regard to hotel bedrooms as the money could be put to better use elsewhere.

"However, it is completely unacceptable for the same people receiving this largesse from the State to refuse to engage with the industrial relations machinery of the State, including the Workplace Relations Committee, the Labour Court and the Joint Labour Committee system”

Senator Gavan concluded;

“The establishment of a Sectoral Employment Order would address all of these issues and also help to reduce staff turnover and raise industry standards. However, it won’t happen without the engagement of employer groups. The Government must insist that employers engage constructively with unions on this issue before extending the VAT subsidy”

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