11 September 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Jobless youth rate soars

UNEMPLOYMENT figures for young people in the 26 Counties have risen by 54 per cent in the past year, according to FÁS Director General Rody Molloy. This exceeds the rate of the out-of-work population as a whole.  
There are currently 55,000 people under 25 on the live register. Molloy described the increase in 18- and 19-year-olds signing on, often after leaving school or losing construction jobs, as “a particular problem”.
Recent data published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, shows that only Spain has recorded a greater increase in its overall unemployment rate compared to a year ago.


BATU dispute continues

THE internal dispute at the Building and Allied Trades Union (BATU) continued as An Phoblacht went to press, with 20 members occupying the union’s Dublin 7 headquarters on Sunday night and vowing to remain until General Secretary Paddy O’Shaughnessy resigns.
This is the latest in a series of actions undertaken by some BATU members in protest against the union leadership, which they accuse of crossing staff picket lines and refusing to co-operate with an investigation into the union’s financial practices.
The protesters were ordered to vacate by 10am Tuesday or face a court injunction. As of late that afternoon, however, the occupation continued.


Employment law to be reviewed

THE Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is to undertake a comprehensive review of the legal framework governing employment and company law in the 26 Counties. The aim of the review is to reduce administrative burdens on Irish businesses.
Health and safety regulations are among those to be examined.
The move follows a report by the Business Regulation Forum which complained about the high costs faced by Irish employers. The review will begin next month.
An Employment Law Compliance Bill, which would strengthen enforcement of workers’ rights, was published in March of this year but has yet to be brought before the Oireachtas.


Taxi union slams stereotyping

THE National Taxi Drivers’ Union has hit out at RTÉ for its stereotyping of taxi drivers in the popular TV soap drama Fair City.
NTDU President Tommy Gorman complained that Fair City portrays taxi drivers as “callous murderers who lock people up in the boot of their cars and then go out the next day as if nothing happened”.
Three of the show’s main characters are taxi drivers with criminal records, a figure Gorman says is out of proportion to the actual number of ex-cons in the business.
“The public could end up too scared to get into a cab because our drivers are being portrayed so badly in Fair City,” he said.


DIY group to shed 1,000 jobs 

UP TO 1,000 jobs may be lost this year in the building materials and DIY retail stores owned by the Grafton Group.
The group - which operates the Chadwicks, Woodies and Atlantic Homecare chains in the 26 Counties and Macnaughton Blair in the North - has already shed 600 staff since the start of the year.
Finance Director Colm Ó Nuallain blamed the losses on “a very difficult trading environment” and said that further cuts would be achieved through a mixture of “voluntary” departures and compulsory redundancies.
The job losses will be shared between Grafton’s Irish and British operations.

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