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Social partnership cannot survive displacement of workers and ongoing worker exploitation - Morgan

24 October, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on employment Arthur Morgan T.D. has said that the SIPTU decision to defer entering talks on a new social partnership agreement is the inevitable consequence of the fact that the process is not delivering for workers. 

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said, “The treatment which workers, including migrant workers, are increasingly subject to has illustrated that employers are not genuinely committed to social partnership.  They have pocketed all the gains in terms of wage restraints and commitments on worker productivity while at the same time attempting to roll back workers rights and protections.   Trade unions, including SIPTU, are seeing little reason why they should remain involved in the process.             

“It is hard to see how any union could enter new partnership talks while IBEC defends the indefensible actions of Irish Ferries and while the Government fails to take the necessary actions to prevent the displacement of Irish workers and the exploitation of workers at Irish Ferries and elsewhere. 

“The comments by the Minister for Communications Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey regarding the situation at An Post was also a signal to unions and workers of how little value social partnership is to them.  At An Post we have another example of the failure of an employer to abide by its obligation under the last social partnership agreement.   It is clear that the Government does not stand with workers who have made all the sacrifices that have allowed social partnership to operate in its current form.  To date social partnership has enabled employers to gain considerable freedom to raise productivity, restrain wages and pursue an agenda that transfers resources to them, and has also enabled employers to get the government to foot much of their employees’ real pay increases by way of cuts in income tax. Workers are increasingly seeing little value for them in allowing this situation to continue.” ENDS

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