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Sinn Féin to launch new Workers' Rights policy

28 April, 2007

Speaking today, on International Worker’s Memorial Day, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Employment and Workers Rights, Arthur Morgan TD, again called for the introduction in Ireland of Corporate Manslaughter legislation and announced that Sinn Féin would launch its new Workers’ Rights policy in Dublin tomorrow to coincide with May Day celebrations in the capital.


Arthur Morgan said, “On International Workers’ Memorial day it is important to take account of the issue of workers’ safety here in Ireland. Fifty work-related deaths were reported to the 26 County Health and Safety Authority in 2006, with the construction sector being the most dangerous for workers. Two hundred and twelve workers were fatally injured in the workplace in the Six Counties in 2005/6. And already this year, there has been a completely unacceptable level of deaths in the workplace.


“It is a matter of grave concern that no employer has served a prison sentence for negligence resulting in the death of a worker and that penalties for workplace fatalities vary considerably. Only by putting in place effective deterrents can we ensure that these needless deaths cease.


“Corporate Manslaughter legislation, already in place in many countries, is a key tool in the battle to reduce workplace accidents and fatalities. Earlier this month Sinn Féin introduced legislation in the Dáil that would create the offence of Corporate Manslaughter in Irish law. The implementation of such legislation remains an urgent requirement.


“Tomorrow Sinn Féin will launch a new, comprehensive and wide-ranging policy on the issue of workers’ rights. This will set out our determination to build a society where workers are enabled to use their power for the collective good, where workers’ contribution to society is acknowledged through fair working conditions and return on their labour, and where all workers can enjoy work/life balance.


“Sinn Féin is determined to stamp out the exploitation of workers in Ireland and across the globe. We wish to extend social protections for all workers and pensioners and to replace current weak labour regulation and non-enforcement with comprehensive regulation and stringent enforcement.


“Our policy document makes a number of innovative and far-reaching proposals which can contribute significantly to improving the conditions for workers and pensioners in Ireland.


“The launch coincides with May Day celebrations in the capital and we are encouraging party members to attend such events over the coming days in Dublin, Belfast and elsewhere around the country.” ENDS

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