O’Connor pledges solidarity with Bray Wanderers players and calls on FAI to intervene to ensure wages are paid

13 July 2018

Labour Party Chair and Dáil Candidate for Wicklow, Jack O’Connor has expressed his solidarity with the players of Bray Wanderers in their bid to be paid by the club’s management, and pledged his full support for the players.

The players released a statement on Friday saying they had no alternative but to issue strike notice to the club as they have not been paid for seven weeks. In a statement from the players, they say the decision to go on strike was not easy but after weeks of negotiation on their behalf by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Ireland, they are no closer to being paid their wages.

Commenting on the situation, Labour’s Jack O’Connor said:

“There is now an urgent need for the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to intervent to ensure that the players are paid what they are due. Furthermore, the FAI should enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union so that players are not forced to take strike action in order to receive their wages.

“The predicament of the Bray Wanderers Players highlights the wider issue of low pay in Ireland and the insecure contracts of employment generally. It is important to remember that 47% of all the people who go to work in Ireland are not even being paid enough to pay tax. A single person is only levied for tax on an income greater than €16,501 per annum. An estimated 46% of those at work under the age of 35 are on insecure ‘non-standard’ contracts of employment.

“The Bray Wanderers Players in their statement say that this is the second season that contract issues have arisen and the FAI has failed to sort out the problems in the Club. They point out that most of the players are on a very low income which they rely on to pay their mortgages, household bills and everyday expenses. They endeavour to survive on this income for the honour and privilege of playing the game they love.

“I am fully in support of the players issuing strike notice to the Club and know it must have been one of the hardest decisions they have had to make. This is indeed another example, if one were needed, of the urgency to amend the Constitution to provide for the right to collective bargaining for all workers.”

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