Tuesday 12 December 2017

Grab a grand: now unions want €1,000 rise for all workers

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke

Kevin Doyle, Niall O'Connor and Anne-Marie Walsh

Unions are demanding a pay increase of €1,000 for the average worker in a move that employers claim will create industrial chaos.

In an announcement that caught the Government by surprise, union bosses said they wanted wage hikes of at least 4pc for private sector workers from January.

Public sector unions will meet in Belfast today to escalate their campaign for faster pay restoration.

While Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has stood firm against Siptu's ultimatum that fresh pay talks must be announced by tomorrow, it now appears likely the Lansdowne Road Agreement will have to be renegotiated next year.

Heaping further pressure on the Government, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) is now also ramping up the clamour for pay increases in the private sector.

"We believe these demands are fair, reasonable and will stand up to scrutiny," ICTU official John Douglas told the Irish Independent.

Business and employer groups reacted furiously to the demands and accused unions of "crude opportunism".

Irish Independent

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