Press Release

SIPTU calls for Labour Court to be empowered to set rules for low paid workers

Date Released: 03 March 2015

SIPTU has called for the Government to empower the Labour Court to set fair employment rules for low paid workers in sectors where employers have refused to engage in the Joint Labour Committee (JLC) process.

In an address to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, this afternoon (Tuesday, 3rd March), SIPTU Services Division Organiser, John King, said: “In the hospitality sector employers groups are flouting Government policy and refusing to engage in the JLC process which aims to set fair terms and conditions of employment for workers.

“This sector is currently booming, with profit margins returning to pre-economic crisis levels. However, due to the employers’ intransigence the economic benefits of this upturn are not being enjoyed by the mainly low paid workers whose hard work is making it happen."

He added: “Due to the unacceptable nature of the employers’ behaviour, SIPTU is calling on the Government to re-enact the provisions of Section 11 of the 1969 Industrial Relations Act. This would enable the Labour Court to set fair employment rules after consultations with organisations that are representative of employers and workers for the class, type or group of workers concerned.”

In his presentation to the committee, John King also said that the refusal of employers groups in the hospitality sector to engage with the JLC process was bringing the Irish state into breach of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.

The Irish state is a signatory of ILO Convention 172, which recommends “collective bargaining” as a means of improving workers conditions in the hospitality sector.

John King added that SIPTU maintained its position that due to the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Associations of Ireland refusal to engage in the JLC system the reduced VAT rate enjoyed by this sector should be brought to an end.


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