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Sinn Féin introduce legislation to protect lowest paid workers

7 October, 2011

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Peadar Tóibín TD, will today introduce the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2011 to the Dáil.

This is the first Bill to be taken under the new Friday sitting procedures and aims to protect the lowest paid workers in society.

Speaking during a solidarity protest outside Leinster House, Deputy Tóibín said, “this bill is an attempt to protect some of the most vulnerable workers in this economy.”

Deputy Tóibín explained,

“I am delighted that the bill is being introduced to the Dáil today. This is the first Bill to be taken under the new Friday sitting procedures and we have taken this opportunity to put forward legislation that would protect the lowest paid workers in the economy.

“The High Court ruling on Joint Labour Committees last July has left 200,000 workers on wages averaging €18,000 exposed to exploitation and poverty. It has allowed unscrupulous employers to further drive down the wages and conditions of their employees.

“Since July this government has made no attempt to introduce legislation to meet the demands of the High Court and to protect these workers and their families. Sinn Féin has continued to work with SIPTU, UNITE, MANDATE and The Coalition for the Low Paid to ensure this issue receives the attention it deserves. That is why we have worked to ensure the bill is heard today.

“We have organised for trade unions and campaign groups to come into the Dáil and lobby TDs and to explain why they should support the bill. Many working families voted Labour in an attempt to protect their rights at this difficult time. Many now feel let down and betrayed by Labour's inaction on this important issue.”

“By supporting this bill today the government can try to redeem themselves and undo some of the damage they have done to working families.”

Deputy Tóibín was joined by party colleagues and representatives of Trade Unions SIPTU, UNITE, IMPACT and the Coalition of the Low Paid at a solidarity protest this morning.

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