TRADE unions have branded a call by Superquinn founder and Senator Feargal Quinn for the abolition of the minimum wage as "nonsense".
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) reacted angrily after Mr Quinn said the €8.65-an-hour rate should be scrapped to allow people to work for whatever they can get.
Mr Quinn (pictured) said the minimum-wage rate, which is among the highest in the EU, was stopping firms from hiring.
But the ICTU's chief economist, Paul Sweeney, said the comments were "nonsense economics".
He commented: "Senator Quinn's claim that the minimum wage acts as some sort of mythical barrier to job creation is utter nonsense and has no basis in economic reality."
Mr Sweeney said recession, endless austerity and a huge bank-debt burden were the real barriers to job creation.
The economist added: "Germany – which was cited by Senator Quinn – operates legal minimum-pay rates across a number of sectors, covering most of the workforce."