Sunday 4 December 2016

O'Connor attacks Bruton's pay reform plans

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Published 05/07/2011 | 05:00

ENTERPRISE Minister Richard Bruton's proposals to reform the wage-setting system for lower-paid workers will come under fire from trade union leaders today.

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The Cabinet will discuss reforms of the joint labour committees (JLCs) and employment regulation orders (EROs) again this morning -- but no decision is expected on the contentious issue until next week.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions president Jack O'Connor will tell union leaders the reforms are the "dismantlement of the mechanisms which protect the pay of the lowest paid 20pc of the workforce".

Mr Bruton's proposals to scrap Sunday pay for hotel and restaurant workers as part of his changes to create jobs are still taking flak from the Labour Party. Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore denied yesterday there was a rift in the Coalition on the issue.

"There is no question of rubber-stamping anything. The Cabinet is discussing those proposals and the outcome of the discussions that are taking place with the unions and with employers.

"The Cabinet will make a decision on that. It has been and is the case that there is agreement in Government that there is a necessity to reform the JLC system and I think that is something that is widely accepted," he said.

In his address this morning, Mr O'Connor will describe Mr Bruton's reforms as another example of "more of the same -- working people carrying the can while others can carry on as they please".

"If job creation was really the objective, the issue of upward only rent reviews would have been dealt with long ago, even if it required a constitutional amendment; the practice of raising prices to coincide with major public events would have been prohibited and those who fail to pass on last week's generous reduction in VAT rates to consumers would have been told in no uncertain terms that the original rates will be reinstated unless they do so," Mr O'Connor will say.

The High Court is expected to announce its decision on a challenge to the JLCs later this week.

Irish Independent

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