On our Jobs committee we had a report from researchers called Indecon, that showed that Jobs Clubs and Local Employment schemes are supportive and effective. They’re a public service, not to be confused with #JobPath and Seetec, which are private, ineffective, and punish more than they support. Yet what was the recommendation? That we should look for PRIVATE bidders for the good PUBLICwork that the Jobs Clubs and LE schemes do!! Doesn’t make sense. This is coming from a right-wing, for-profit agenda, driven by the EU. It must be resisted.

An amendment that we wanted in the new Employment Bill, would protect workers to some small degree. We want existing workers, on low hours, to be offered any extra hours that become available, rather than the company taking on new staff for these hours. But the amendment was voted down

WE HAVE MORE DOG WARDENS THAN LABOUR INSPECTORS. I’m on the Dail committee that deals with jobs. I spoke today on the underlying reasons for the abuse of foreign workers, especially those outside the EU. Government’s policies make them appear as ‘lesser’ people (think of the misery of Direct Provision centres). ‘Fortress Europe’s racist policies towards refugees, signals what’s acceptable across Europe, including here, and the bosses lap it up. Virtual slavery is seen as okay and of course, increases profits. We must crack down on unscrupulous employers. They do us all down, native and foreign workers.

Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest  OR FEMPI is now the longest lasting piece of emergency legislation in the history of the State – despite the ‘recovery’. And the government wants to make it permanent. FEMPI ensures discrimination against new workers in the public sector – less money for the same work; it holds down pay rises, increases working hours, wrecks pensions and will ensure that if the nurses, teachers, fireworkers and other essential public servants accept this – the public sector will be next. ALL workers must fight to defeat this attack on our rights. I spoke about this in the Dáil today

energypost.eu, March Climate in Rome Italy

While disappointed that my amendments didn’t succeed in changing the new Energy Bill, I am happy that we made some progress on challenging the corporate bias in state agencies like the SEAI (Sustainable energy Agency). The new bill states that people with experience in the fight against climate change and the environment will be sought for board vacancies. I understand there are two vacancies coming up and I would urge all interested from the “Environmental pillar” to apply and see if we can put climate and other environmental issues into the heart of this important state agency.Read more »