Government must value workers by increasing the minimum wage by 2%

23 September 2020

Reacting to the news that trade union representatives have withdrawn from the Low Pay Commission due to a failure to consider a meaningful increase to the minimum wage, Labour Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Senator Marie Sherlock said:  

“The future of the Low Pay Commission is now seriously in question. The Government must act to ensure the Commission upholds its original purpose; to assist low paid workers and to progressively increase the minimum wage in a fair and sustainable manner.   

“There is enormous potential for the Low Pay Commission to provide evidence-based insight into the working conditions of those earning low wages in Ireland. Instead its work has ground to a halt, as certain employer representatives tried to resist any reasonable progress in the minimum wage during a time when low-paid workers should be valued more than ever.  

“In these circumstances, it is understandable that representatives of the trade union movement have seen fit to withdraw from talks. 

“The onus is now on the Government to step in and ensure that low paid workers receive more than lip service. Throughout the pandemic, Ministers have rightly praised the work of those on the front line who are all too often on the national minimum wage or just above it. They are the shop workers, the bin collectors, the home care attendants and the food service workers who did their jobs so that others could stay at home.  

“In order to truly value these workers who contributed so much at the height of the crisis, it is essential the Government now legislates for a meaningful increase in the minimum wage.” 

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