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State must ensure frontline workers fighting Covid-19 receive decent pay and conditions – Louise O’Reilly TD

12 December, 2020 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called on the Government and the Health Service Executive to ensure that essential workers leading the fight against Covid-19 have decent pay and conditions.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“During the pandemic we have seen an army of essential workers going above and beyond to keep us safe and healthy, to keep prepare and process our food, and to keep food and essential goods on shop shelves.

“The crisis has reimagined how we view essential workers and throughout the pandemic we have heard of how we need to ensure essential service workers are respected and have decent pay and conditions.

“Therefore, it is very disappointing to see jobs being advertised for frontline Covid-19 swabbers paying less than a living wage.

“Swabbers are essential workers in the fight against Covid-19 and they face a higher risk of exposure to Covid-19 than others, making their work more dangerous for the individual workers, but more valuable to society as a whole.

“These workers should be paid a living wage, at a minimum, and have decent conditions such a sick pay.

“The Government can, and should, create, and shape the creation of, decent jobs.

“I would call on the Minister for Health to confirm that these jobs are not being outsourced by the health service, and I would further call on him to make a statement to the effect that workers on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 should be paid a living wage and have decent and fair employment conditions.”

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