West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin supports ICTU call for living wage - Kelly

Published: 7 July, 2015

Omagh Town Sinn Féin representative and SIPTU Trade Union member Catherine Kelly has welcomed a call by the Irish Congress of Trades Unions for the introduction of a living wage.

Ms Kelly said:

"Sinn Féin has consistently advocated the need for a living wage and fully supports ICTU's "Decency at Work, A Living Wage, Fair Employment Conditions" pledge.

She continued:

"Sinn Féin believes the increase in casual labour, zero hour contracts (ZHC), unsocial working hours and minimal emphasis on employment rights and conditions presents a growing challenge to the rights of working people.

"There are increasing numbers of working people living in relative poverty. This is unacceptable. It must be addressed through the introduction of economic policies, which promote equality and opportunity in the workplace and respects the rights and aspirations of workers.

"This can be achieved by ensuring basic employment protections and working standards such as ending the inappropriate use of ZHC and the application of a proper living wage.

"The introduction of a living wage would raise the living standards of thousands of workers lifting them out of poverty and removing many from dependency on social security benefits. This in turn would alleviate pressures on the welfare budget and public finances.

"An economic analysis by accounting firm KPMG has found that since it introduced a living wage in 2006 that lower employee turnover and absenteeism combined with higher staff morale and productivity far outweighed the increased wage cost. "A living wage makes perfectly good business sense."