Restaurants and hotels told to hike salaries as hospitality booms
The time is "ripe" for restaurant and hotel owners to push up wages as their profits return to pre-crash levels, according to the leader of the trade union movement.
General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Patricia King said staff in the sector were three times more likely to be on the minimum wage than the average worker.
In a letter to the Irish Independent, she accused employers of refusing to engage with the Joint Labour Committee system, which sets legally binding terms and conditions for workers.
She also argues that the Government should resist calls from the industry to restore a previous tax cut in the upcoming budget as Brexit looms.
"Brexit is now the latest raison d'être put forward by industry lobbyists calling for a return of the lower VAT rate," said Ms King.
"While Brexit does have negative implications for tourism, the increase in the number of visitors coming from other countries is compensating for the relative decline from Britain."
Chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said the Joint Labour Committee system was "null and void" for the sector.
"If Brexit hits, we'll be back to square one," he said."