Morgan exposes case of exploitation of South African workers who are being paid €2.50 an hour to put safety belts in Bus Éireann's fleet
Sinn Féin Workers Rights spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD today announced that he had been contacted by South African workers who revealed that they are being paid just over €2.50 an hour to put safety belts in Bus Eireann’s fleet. Deputy Morgan said he had talked to some of the workers and examined their contracts and there was evidence that:
- They are not being paid the minimum wage
- They have not received wage slips
- They have not been given PPS numbers
- They have not been given copies of their work permits
- They have not been paid any overtime to date despite working up to 72 hours a week including night shifts.
Deputy Morgan said it is totally unacceptable that workers, who are in effect working for the state, are being exploited in this manner. He demanded that Bus Éireann come clean on this issue and that the Department of Enterprise ensure that the rights of all those employed either directly or indirectly by the state are upheld.
Deputy Morgan said:
“In recent days I have been contacted by a number of South African workers who have been employed to put safety belts into Bus Eireann’s fleet. Over a dozen men are working at sites in Dublin, Donegal, Rosslare, Corkand Athlone. I have examined copies of their contracts and bank statements and there is clear evidence that they are being paid far below the minimum wage. They are being paid 25 Rand(approx €2.50) per hour with their salaries lodged into bank accounts in South Africa. They also receive €20 a day for food. They have not received wage slips or PPS numbers and their work permits are being held with the company. They are expected to work up to 62 hours a week including night shifts but have received no overtime pay to date.
“The South African workers were hired by Marble Gold, which is a trade name for a South African company PROSEAT. Transport Components, an Irish firm which holds the contract for installation of the safety belts from Bus Eireann, uses the South African company to hire cheap labour.
“The company is advertising similar jobs on its website for Irish workers at a rate of €10 per hour. This is as gross an example of abuse of migrant workers I have encountered but is increasing proof that the economic growth in this state is sustained on the back of misery, inequality and exploitation. It is less than four months since it was revealed that migrant workers refurbishing the ESB's Moneypoint power station were being paid well below the minimum wage. It is outrageous that there are similar revelations about a second state owned company.
Sinn Féin is calling for:
- The Department of Enterprise to immediately investigate these allegations and to ensure that these workers are retrospectively paid what is due to them.
- The tightening up of public procurement rules to ensure that companies who breech employment law are ineligible for public contracts.
- The Labour Inspectorate to be increased to the projected 90 immediately, rather than phasing it as is proposed in Towards 2016.
- The upholding of the rights of all workers, regardless of where they come from.
"That workers, who are effectively working for the state, are being paid well below the minimum wage is totally unacceptable. The lax attitude of the Government in respect of ensuring employer compliance with employment law must come to an end.” ENDS