Press Release

SIPTU warns against Brexit being used as excuse to attack members pay and conditions

Date Released: 19 July 2016

SIPTU economist, Marie Sherlock, has stated that her union will not allow ‘Brexit’ to be used as an excuse by employers for an attack on its members pay and conditions of employment.

In an address to the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, County Donegal, this evening (Tuesday, 19th July), Sherlock said: “SIPTU as the largest public and private sector union in the country will not allow its members to become scapegoats for the wider problems associated with Brexit.
 
“Similar to during the recession years, SIPTU will work with those companies that are genuinely hit. Our key priority has always been for the retention of jobs. However, we will resist all attempts by those who seek to piggy back on the general uncertainty to attack workers’ pay and conditions of employment.”
 
She said: “For Ireland, the full impact of Brexit will remain unknown for some time. However, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is likely to freeze corporate investment, expansion and hiring decisions making the argument for public investment all the greater.

“Ireland’s public investment rate is projected to be just 2.3% as share of GDP, approximately half of level necessary.”
 
Sherlock added: “In debates about the Irish economy in recent months, there has been a trend emerging that pits infrastructural investment against increases in pay. This simply cannot be an either/or choice.
 
“Investment in public infrastructure is important to sustaining and increasing the productive capacity of the Irish economy. This in turn is important so that we can remain competitive relative to our main trading partners. And this competitiveness depends on sustainable public finances, which in turn are largely built on strong domestic consumption which depends on high employment levels and decent living standards.”

To read Marie Sherlock's full address to the MacGill Summer School click here -  Marie Speech MacGill


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