31 January 2017

Labour Transport spokesperson Brendan Ryan has called on Fianna Fáil to accept the Labour addendum to their private member’s motion on Bus Éireann. Today on the Order of Business, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin raised the need for greater protection for employees on insecure and low-hour contracts.

If the Party that cut the minimum wage is now angling to be a champion of worker’s rights I would call on them to support our addendum to their private members motion tonight on Bus Éireann.

One of the key concerns for those working in Bus Éireann, and in the general transport sector is a race to the bottom on term’s and conditions. Last week at Leader’s Questions, Brendan Howlin raised these same issues with the Taoiseach.

Fianna Fáil have drafted a worthy motion but it is lacking in clear action and recommendations. If we are to tackle injustice and the exploitation of workers there must be rules in place to protect the terms and conditions of those employed in the bus industry.

Our amendment calls for a sectoral employment order (SEO) that would set minimum pay rates, as well as pension and sick pay schemes for employees across the bus sector and ensure a floor on a race to the bottom both from private operators and bus management.

With the rise in the number of licensed private operators, employing mostly non-union staff there is a clear need for an SEO to prevent a race to the bottom on pay rates.

The text of the Labour amendment is:
“ensure a level playing field for all operators, avoid a race to the bottom and safeguard the interests of workers by committing to a sectoral employment order setting out minimum pay rates as well as pension and sick pay schemes for employees across the sector.”

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