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Morgan - Progress is being made in addressing grievances of exploited South African workers

21 July, 2006


Sinn Féin Workers Rights spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD this morning met with Inspectors from the Department of Enterprise in relation to their investigation into the exploitation of 19 South African workers.  He also spoke with some of the South African workers and was in brief contact with a representative of their employers Transport Components.  Deputy Morgan said  “It is my firm view that progress is being made in terms of the grievances outlined by the workers and if this work continues we can achieve a successful outcome in this particular case.”

Deputy Morgan said:

“The speedy response of the Department of Enterprise in opening an investigation into the exploitation of these 19 South African workers is very welcome.  I met with Inspectors from the Department of Enterprise this morning, spoke with some of the South African Workers and was in brief contact with a representative of Transport Components.  The Department have already spoken to both Transport Components and Bus Éireann and are due to meet the workers very soon.

“It is my firm view that progress is being made in terms of the grievances outlined by the workers and I believe that if this work continues we can achieve a successful outcome in this particular case.

“However the government needs to get a grip of this situation.  Their lax attitude in relation to the protection of workers rights needs to change. There are growing concerns about the pay and conditions of workers across a whole range of industries and these are issues that effect Irish workers and those who are working here from abroad.

Sinn Féin is  calling for:

  • The Department of Enterprise to conclude their  investigation as
    quickly as possible 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.

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