TREATMENT OF NON EEA FISHERS DISGRACEFUl & UNACCEPTABLE
Commenting on the revelations on RTE Prime Time tonight in relation to non-EEA fishers, Senator Ged Nash said:
“The treatment of the non-EEA fishers as highlighted in tonight’s RTE Prime Time programme is disgraceful and unacceptable.
“Last December, several months after the introduction of the Atypical Permit Scheme, I met a large group of Egyptian fishers with International Transport Federation (ITF) officials at a meeting in Drogheda.
“Of the 40 men I met, the bulk of whom had travelled great distances to share their experiences with me, only four had a valid permit.
“As a consequence of poor compliance and weak enforcement, the scheme introduced in 2016 clearly is not working for those it was designed to protect.
“The Prime Time programme has shown that some operators continue to behave as if the scheme does not exist.
“I have drawn the government’s attention to this state of affairs in the Seanad. To date there has been no effort to improve the situation.
“Ultimately, there is no point in the State bestowing the status of employee on a worker if those rights and entitlements are not being vindicated or are being enforced in a limited fashion.
“The Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine; the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and the Department of Justice & Equality must engage immediately with all stakeholders – including the ITF – to address the failings and shortcomings in the operation of the scheme.”