Mandate Trade Union has welcomed the Report on Low Pay, Decent Work, and a Living Wage published by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and its call for the next government to prioritise ensuring workers get a living wage
Mandate Assistant General Secretary, Gerry Light called the majority of the 28 recommendations put forward “very positive for trade unions and for the workers they represent.”
He added that there is now a need for "political expediency" to implement the recommendations, as well as those of the recent University of Limerick report on zero and low hour contracts.
Light also welcomed Committee Chair Marcella Corcoran Kennedy's comments at the launch of the report, where she said that one of the key solutions to precarious work and low pay is legislative changes.
He concluded by referencing the recent industrial action taken by Dunnes Stores workers amidst claims of low hour contracts and punitive work schedules, saying that Ireland has one of the highest levels of “underemployment” in the EU “with more than 130,000 workers seeking more hours but being denied them by their employer.”
“This is one of the main reasons we have such a high level of at-work poverty with one in six workers struggling to get by and experiencing deprivation.”
While it is unclear as to how the issue of living wages will be addressed, Rapporteur of the Report, Senator David Cullinane said, “The employer groups who presented to the committee were very clear that it is not the role of employers to provide a living wage and they argued that the living wage is the role of the state."
“In order to ensure workers have an adequate income and decent public services we have to increase taxation where it is out of line with the rest of Europe, and that potentially includes employers’ PRSI.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.