Over the last 20 years, Irish workers lost out more than any other European workers, in our share of the ‘National Cake’. In 1995, 55% of the national output went on wages, by 2015 it was down to 44% (OECD figures). And you can see where it’s going with Covid – less for us, and again, more for them. Productivity up 13% for workers working from home. And still no statutory rights to UNION RECOGNITION or SICK PAY. Workers need serious regulatory protection, but we’re not going to get it from FFG’s are we? The change we voted for is SO needed..

I was in a special Dáil committee during the week on the aviation industry. Representatives of both Ryanair and Aer Lingus appeared before the committee. They want state aid, and produced lots of figures to back up their claim. However, they left out the figures for profits they made over recent years, that run into €Billions. And disgustingly, Ryanair are taking 11 pilots to court for ORGANISING A UNION BALLOT, going after them personally for €13.5 million!! I believe in supporting airline workers, not the shareholders and CEOs of the companies that employ them.

People Before Profit support Psychiatric Nurses in strike action decision

Drastic measures required due to short fall in funding and staffing levels

Brid-Smith-2a-241x300People Before Profit fully support the decision of the Psychiatric Nurses Association members to go on strike in reaction to chronically low staffing levels in hospital and community services. The members of the PNA have voted by a margin of 87% for strike action.

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tescosTesco have announced that long serving members of staff are on ‘inflexible contracts’ and are demanding that they take wage cuts.

Bríd Smith from People Before Profit has claimed that:

“This move reflects the true nature of the Irish ‘recovery- it is being built on a low wage economy.

“About 1,000 members of Tesco staff are affected and it would mean a cut of €2.35 (16.5%) per hour for workers earning €14.31. Over a whole year it would lead to a minimum reduction of €6,591 per worker.

Workers are also being threatened with:
– The loss of late night allowance.
– The loss of early morning allowance.
– The loss of the guaranteed share bonus scheme.

“It is a blatant case of Tesco attempting to increase their profits at the expense of their most long and long-standing members of staff. This is not a struggling company.  Dave Lewis, the CEO of Tesco is on €1.5 million a year – so he does not know what it is like to live on just over €11 an hour.

“Tesco is a highly profitable retailer that has one quarter of the entire grocery market in the Republic of Ireland. The company refuses to release their profits but the shop workers union, MANDATE, estimate them to be in the region of €250-300 million per year.

“Tesco’s plan shows what is really happening in the Irish recovery. A recent OECD report, Employment Outlook 2015, showed that the numbers of Irish workers on low pay had jumped from 19 percent of the workforce in 2003 to 23 percent a decade later. This puts Ireland closer to the US pattern of a quarter of workers being classified officially classified as low pay.

“We need strong unions to combat  attempts to reduce wage rates. People Before Profit will support changes in the Industrial Relations Acts to make it easier for workers to take action against companies like Tesco. We will produce legislation to give workers an automatic right to collective bargaining and union recognition. We will move to increase the minimum wage to bring it closer to the living age of €11.25 an hour”.




Bríd Smith- 087 909 0166 Twitter- @bridsmith


Press Officer: Nick Lee – 087 615 6473


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