26 April 2007 Edition
Nuacht na nOibrithe
Union works to protect migrant workers
Amicus trade union has been working on a campaign to break down barriers that are preventing migrant workers from accessing full employment rights in a bid to “prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people by unscrupulous employers”. The campaign is being promoted through an initiative in Longford where information about workplace organisation and training will be available to migrant print workers. Also, Amicus members at the Thermo King transport refrigeration plant in Galway have been encouraging newly recruited migrant workers into the union. Around 450 people work on the unionised site including 120 migrant workers from Poland, Slovakia and Romania.
Bank union calls for the rejection of Towards 2016
The Irish Bank Official’s Association (IBOA) general secretary Larry Broderick has called for the national social partnership agreement, Towards 2016, to be immediately suspended and renegotiated as inflation and rising interest rates have made a mockery of the deal.
Speaking at the union’s biennial conference in Dublin Broderick said: “With inflation running at 5.1 per cent, and interest rates forecast to rise even further, workers’ wages are declining in value. and staff pensions are under attack, all of which makes a mockery of the national agreement” and said he would be proposing to the Ictu executive the immediate suspension and renegotiation of the partnership agreement. Speaking on the same day on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Broderick said Ictu had told its members the pay deal was “a great agreement” that would not only compensate for inflation, but would result in “real net benefits”.
“All the indications are that inflation this year is going to be in excess of 5 per cent. That’s less than the terms. We genuinely believe that we can’t wait. We are only fooling ourselves and misleading our members”, Broderick said.
Average industrial wages up 5.3%
CSO estimates of industrial earnings over the year to December 2006 have indicated that the average gross weekly earnings of industrial workers in all industries increased by 5.3%. This brings the average industrial wage up to €623.69 per week compared to €592.56 in December 2005. Despite this rise in average wages there is still a disparity in the gender breakdown of average industrial earnings with the average male gross weekly wage standing at €678.74 and the average female gross weekly wage standing at €468.59.