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Irish Ferries Dispute Government support sought for EU Ferries Directive

29 September, 2005


Sinn  Féin  Transport  spokesperson  Seán  Crowe TD has called on the Irish
Government  to  back  the  Sinn  Féin  effort  to  have  a European Ferries
directive  brought  forward to deal with ships operating in European waters
under  flags  of  convenience.  Deputy Crowe made his comments as the Irish
Ferries controversy continues.

Speaking  today  he  said,  “It  is  now  undeniable that Irish Ferries are
running  a  human  resources strategy that is geared toward replacing their
Irish  crews with Eastern European slave labour. These workers will be paid
well  under  the  minimum  wage,  the figure mentioned is a miserly 3.60 an
hour.   Irish Ferries have outlined to their staff that failure to take the
so  called  voluntary  redundancy will lead to a drastic reduction in their
working  conditions,  with longer hours, wage cuts and shorter holidays and
makes  a  mockery of the term ‘voluntary redundancy’. It is not good enough
for the Irish Government to wash their hands of this.

“The  Government can back, at European Council level, the move by Sinn Féin
MEP Mary Lou McDonald to have a European Ferries Directive to deal with the
flags of convenience issue.

"Failing this the Government should consider bringing in a licensing regime
for  ferries  operating  in  Irish  waters;  this would be done in order to
ensure  that  ferries operating in Irish waters adhere to Irish labour law,
similar to what the Scottish Executive has already done.” ENDS

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