Jack O Connor opens Campaign Office and launches online survey on Decent Work

18 June 2018

The Labour Party in Co Wicklow is today opening a Campaign Office at 7 Marine Tce , Strand Road, Bray. Coinciding with this, the Party has launched an online survey to highlight the co-relation between low quality jobs and dependence on rented accommodation at rapidly escalating prices, among younger workers.The survey can be accessed at http://www.jackoconnor.ie/wicklowdecentjobssurvey.

Launching the initiative, Labour Party Chair and Dáil Candidate for Wicklow, Jack O’Connor said:

“It’s a vicious circle for many of our young people. They are unable to obtain permanent jobs on good pay. Therefore they cannot get a mortgage, or even a car loan for that matter. As a consequence they are competing in the rental market at prices which are escalating at rates dramatically in excess of pay levels or general inflation. They can’t win.

“There are no wholly reliable statistics on the extent of “precarious” insecure jobs. Many of our young people are forced to accept temporary, part time and often so called zero hours or “if and when” jobs, which are for the most part poorly paid, even though they have studied hard to obtain educational qualifications.

“The most authentic study was produced by the Loughlinstown based EU agency Eurofound. According to a Report published in 2016, based on 2015 research, it concluded that no less than 46% of those at work under the age of 35, were employed on “non -standard” contracts of employment. While things must have improved since as a result of the economic recovery, it is nonetheless a shocking statistic.

“While statistics on low quality employment are scarce, there are none whatsoever on the extent to which people trapped in those jobs are also renting their accommodation and thus the victims of a double whammy – exploited at work and ripped off at home. Not only do such statistics not exist, but worse than that there is no effort to obtain them.

“We in the Labour Party in Co Wicklow strongly support  the Mandate Trade Union’s campaign for €15.00 per hour for Bar & Retail Workers and Siptu’s demand for a national rate for Child Care workers. It was precisely to ensure that such rates could be negotiated and made binding, that we legislated for the Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) concept when we were in the last Government.”

“Exploitative employment contracts are sometimes referred to as “New Forms of Work”. However, they’re not new at all. They represent the return of the employment practices which were prevalent in the latter part of the 19th century, before the advent of General Trade Unionism. All of this raises the very fundamental question of the right to representation at work. People in Ireland should have a right to representation at work, by a Trade Union or Staff Association, if they wish to avail of it. This applies in the in the UK and most modern European States. However, it will require a referendum to change the Constitution, to enable it to happen here. I have called for this referendum in the past and I am reiterating that call now”, he stated emphatically.

“So, if we are to build a better, fairer future for everyone in Ireland, we have to recognise the link between the quality of employment and the quality of life and we have to take all the steps that are necessary to improve it. Parallel with this we must prioritize housing our people and rebuilding our public services over so called “Rainy Day” Funds and buying peoples votes with their own money through token tax cutting.”

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