Don’t believe Government’s honeyed words on low pay – they didn’t even turn up in Court today to defend under threat wage setting legislation

20 December 2022

Labour Party spokesperson on worker’s rights, Senator Marie Sherlock has said it is disgraceful that the Government continue to sit on their hands and failure to defend wage setting legislation that is now under attack in the courts.

Senator Sherlock said:

“Today was the third court date for the judicial review taken by the three security employers against the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Attorney General, the Labour Court and the Security sector Joint Labour Committee. And for the third time, the State did not bother to turn up.

“Over 16,000 security workers in this country have not had an agreed pay increase in over three years. Despite the Government’s honeyed words on a living wage and improving low wages, five days out from Christmas this Government has revealed its real attitude towards defending workers’ rights legislation and helping low paid workers.

“This was supposed to be a good news story. Through the Joint Labour Committee for the security sector, employers and trade unions agreed a series of very modest pay increases for security workers. After going through the necessary processes with the Labour Court, it was left to Minister Damien English to sign into law. He signalled he would and then three employers sought and were granted an ex parte injunction on August 24th.

“Despite numerous interactions with then Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar and Minister Damien English, today we see that the Government has done nothing to defend this wage deal.

“It’s a dreadful reflection on this Government when the Judge presiding over the Judicial Review list this morning put back the case for mention to February and commented “they might turn up then”.

“We are now calling on Minister for Enterpise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney to immediately make clear the Government’s position.”

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