Date Released: 17 September 2014
The Young Workers' Network (YWN) greeted TDs and Senators returning to Leinster House after their summer break with a protest to highlight the impact on young people of the housing crisis and rising costs, on Wednesday, 17th September, at 1.00 p.m.
Outside Leinster House, YWN activists stood behind a fake house to symbolise the impact of the housing crisis. They also held receipts for household expenses to demonstrate that welfare payments and wages need to be increased so that young people can live a decent life.
The protest was addressed by representatives of a number of organisations including the Union of Students in Ireland and the Dublin Council of Trade Unions.
YWN spokesperson, Sinead Pembroke, said: “We've been here before and we're here again to let the Government know that we haven't gone away. Young people have been attacked year on year: being forced to emigrate, to work for free or for those who are ‘lucky’ enough to get a wage there have been pay cuts.
“We are warning the Government that austerity must end, young workers need wage increases, job security and social housing. The Government has a responsibility to work for all people in Ireland and not just big business.”
YWN activist, Dan O’ Neill, said: “We welcome initiatives such as the setting up of a Low Pay Commission. However, it must be stressed that for it to be credible, young people must be included in the process. The exploitation of young people within the jobs market must end. All people no matter what their age deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work”.
He added: “The inconvenient truth is that core social welfare payments have been lowered for young people despite Government commitments not to. Research by the Nevin Economic Research Institute indicates that such measures have only increased hardship for young people who are failing to find employment due to a lack of jobs”.
The Young Workers’ Network is an initiative that seeks to unite young workers to campaign on issues affecting them. The Network is member driven and open to all young workers under 35, working full-time, part-time, casual or unemployed who are interested in taking action for better jobs and strong trade unions.