Date Released: 08 October 2014
SIPTU Vice President, Patricia King, will outline the reasons why a new Joint Labour Committee (JLC) for the hospitality industry is urgently required when she gives a press briefing in Liberty Hall 1.00 p.m. on Thursday, 9th October. She will also argue why the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, should withdraw the reduction in VAT from 13.5% to 9% in 2011, as the benefits have not been passed on to customers, employees or the exchequer.
The press conference will coincide with the first day of the SIPTU Services Division conference which takes in Liberty Hall on Thursday and Friday (10th October) and which will be attended by hundreds of union delegates.
According to SIPTU Divisional Organiser, John King, an information survey commissioned by the union will support a call on the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, to withdraw the reduction in VAT from 13.5% to 9% given to hotel and restaurant employers in 2011 as they have failed to pass on the real financial benefits it has achieved to customers, employees or the exchequer.
He said: “Employer bodies, the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Association of Ireland have recently complained of a shortage of skilled labour to meet the demand arising from these positive industry figures for the sector, including of chefs. However, their insistence on driving down wages and conditions of employment over the past five years has contributed to the shortage of qualified and skilled workers in the hospitality sector.
“Employers in the sector have refused to engage in discussions for a new Joint Labour Committee which would set fair wage rates and conditions for workers in hotels and restaurants across the country. Although it is government policy the workers in these industries should be covered by a JLC but employers have been given an effective veto over this policy by refusing to engage with trade unions and the labour relations machinery of the State. This veto needs to be removed. We have called on the Minister for Finance to withdraw the favourable VAT reduction policy given to hotel and restaurant owners unless they immediately agree to enter discussions on a new JLC for the hospitality sector.”