24 May 2022

Workers must be prioritised as economy recovers from Covid pandemic demands Laois TD

coronavirus covid-19

Brian Stanley celebrates his election in Laois Offaly with supporters in 2020. Pic: Alf Harvey

Laois-Offaly TD Brian Stanley has called for a wave of legislation to be introduced to support workers as we emerge out of the Covid crisis.

The Sinn Féin TD spoke on the issue in Dáil

"As we emerge from this global pandemic, and as our economy recovers, we must ensure a fresh approach to worker’s rights.

"After decades of workers’ rights being eroded away by consecutive conservative governments, we need to make sure that this is the decade in which workers' rights are put to the forefront.’’

“In the last Dáil, when the Clery’s workers were left high and dry after the company went into liquidation, we were promised that it wouldn’t happen again.

"Yet here we are in 2021 with Debenhams workers on the streets for over a year protesting for basic entitlements such as redundancy and holiday pay.

"It is a completely unacceptable situation and the State has a responsibility to step in. I welcome the legislation here today and I hope that it passes to the next stage. But this is only the first step in what should be a wave of legislation to empower workers.’

“We need legislation that doesn’t just recognise a worker’s rights to join a Trade Union, but that mandates an employer to engage with that workers chosen representative.

"We need an end to the casualisation of employment. Much more needs to be done to put an end to practices like Bogus self-employment.

"Companies are avoiding paying their fair share of PRSI, while workers are forced to go without entitlements like as annual leave, sick pay, pension contributions.

"There can be no place for poverty pay. If we want workers to have security, then we need to see a statutory Living Wage – starting at €12.30 an hour.

"As we come out of Covid and rebuild our economy, these are just some of the changes we need, in this decade Labour won’t wait.  Workers will get their fair share,” he said.

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