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Minister Bruton working to a clear wage cutting agenda – Cullinane

6 June, 2011

Speaking from Waterford Senator Cullinane said:

“Today’s comments from Minister Bruton confirm that he intends to implement proposals beyond what is recommended in the Duffy-Walsh Report on the future of Joint Labour Committees. Minister Bruton is right in saying that sectors covered by JLCs have seen catastrophic job losses. However he is wrong to suggest that cutting levels of pay, overtime and Sunday rates will reverse this trend. If anything it will make matters worse. Taking money from the pockets of low paid workers is akin to taking directly from the tills of local retailers, restaurants and the service industry generally.”

“It is clear that the minister has either not read the Duffy-Walsh report or he does not agree with their conclusions. The report emphatically states that reducing pay in sectors covered by JLCs will not result in new job opportunities. In fact it is the reverse as reduced pay for low paid workers will see a further drop in consumer spending and potentially more job losses.

“It is also clear that the Minister intends to ignore the recommendations contained in the Independent Duffy-Walsh Report and move ahead with proposals of his own. This again signals that the Minister is working to a prescriptive agenda of cutting the pay of low paid workers. It is another example of a new Government implementing the old policies of the previous Government.

“When will this Government learn that following in the footsteps of Fianna Fáil and the Greens will not work? Slavishly implementing the terms of the IMF/ECB deal will not increase our competitiveness or lead to increased economic activity. I am calling on the Government and especially the Labour Party to depart from these failed policies, ditch the Ministers proposals and stick to the Duffy-Walsh report as the basic for Joint Labour Committee reform.”

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