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Redundancies at Irish Ferries is attempt to extend exploitative working conditions - Morgan

19 September, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Arthur Morgan T.D. has said that the announcement by Irish Ferries that it is offering redundancies to 543 workers represents another disgraceful attempt by the company to deviate from accepted standards in terms of pay and conditions. He challenged the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mícheál Martin T.D. to make clear to the company that no exploitation of workers will be tolerated.

Deputy Morgan said, "The working conditions and pay on board Irish Ferries ships have been in the media on several occasions in recent months. Conditions on board the Normandy, which now flies under a flag of convenience, deteriorated sharply when it underwent the process now proposed on the Dublin-Holyhead and Rosslare Pembroke routes. The unacceptable conditions on board were highlighted by members of Irish, British and French seafaring unions when they blockaded the ship in Rosscoff and Cherbourg earlier this year. The conditions were also highlighted in a Prime Time exposé where a number of workers spoke out against their exploitation on board the Normandy. The International Transport Federation has claimed crew members on the ship were paid an average of €3.50 an hour, less than half the Irish minimum wage, and worked an 84-hour week. This is evidently the kind of treatment that workers can expect on the Dublin-Holyhead and Rosslare-Pembroke routes following today's announcement.

"It should not be acceptable for a company to cut costs by attacking the working conditions of its employees. I am challenging Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mícheál Martin T.D. to make clear to Irish Ferries that no exploitation of workers will be tolerated." ENDS

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