Date Released: 03 November 2015
SIPTU has called on the Minister for Agriculture and the Marine, Simon Coveney, to introduce employment protection legislation, proper training and rigorous inspection processes for migrant workers employed in the fishing industry.
SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Gerry McCormack, said: “The reports of the widespread abuse of migrant workers in the fishing industry, as highlighted by the Guardian newspaper, is not surprising to those with a knowledge of the sector. SIPTU is calling for the Government to immediately move towards the introduction of a legal framework that would provide for decent pay and conditions, proper training for workers and an appropriate inspection system to ensure compliance in the fishing industry.
“In order to advance this process, SIPTU is seeking an immediate meeting with minister Coveney to agree the best way forward. All stakeholders within the fishing industry need to participate in this process. However, the Minister should impose as short a timeframe as possible for the completion of this process.”
Gerry McCormack added: “The work of the International Transport Federation (ITF) and in particular its co-ordinator for Britain and Ireland, Ken Fleming, in bringing this abuse of vulnerable workers to public attention must be commended. We are also calling on the Government to ensure that the innocent workers caught up in this abuse are treated fairly by the Irish State and that their proper legal entitlements are provided as quickly as possible.”
Ken Fleming said: “SIPTU and the ITF are calling for these workers to be provided with a period of reflection in order for them to decide how best to regularise their status and, if required, to provide evidence in the event of the prosecutions of these gross violations of human and employment rights.”