Friday 13 December 2019

Bruton's lucky break

Yesterday's decision by the High Court that the system of Joint Labour Committees, which sets the wages of 200,000 lower-paid staff in the catering, hospitality, retailing and security sectors, is unconstitutional represents an unexpected lucky break for Jobs and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton.

His plans to reform the JLCs had run into opposition from the trade unions and Labour TDs and threatened to create a rift between the two governing parties. Yesterday's decision gives both sides an opportunity to patch up those differences.

With the existing JLC system destined for the dustbin Mr Bruton's plans, which amount to a sort of JLC-lite, should now be far more attractive to his opponents. To Labour backbenchers and trade union bosses they may only represent half a loaf but that's a heck of a lot more than no loaf at all.

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