Whether you are a traditional manual worker or a white-collar worker, you need greater protection. Yet low pay is on the rise, particularly for the young. Many are in precarious, insecure employment. Instead of a government that looks after corporations, we need one that ensures workers have more rights. People Before Profit support strong unions that stand up for workers’ rights. Today, many union leaders have become too close to employers and the government. They need to become more democratic and fight for their members. Workers should also have a right to freedom of association – to join a union of their choice. We will support the following legislative changes:

  • Ban discrimination: pay parity and restoration now. Public sector workers hired after 2011 are paid less than those who joined before. Additionally, some public sector workers are paid less than similarly qualified workers. Nurses and teachers were right to strike for pay parity and restoration. We would repeal FEMPI terms and support public sector workers in their call for pay parity and restoration.
  • End the gender pay gap. It is completely unacceptable that women are paid less than men for doing the same work. This in-built sexism needs to be weeded out through legislation, union action and cultural changes.
  • Give all workers equal rights from day one. Whether you are part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent, you should have the same legal rights so that work conditions are not driven down.
  • Guarantee unions the right to access all workplaces. Unions should have the right to enter a workplace at least once a year to put the case for why people should join. They should also be able to inspect for adherence to labour legislation.
  • Recognise unions for bargaining. When at least 20 percent of the workers join a union, they should have a right to collectively bargain with their employer through their chosen union.
  • Ban zero-hour contracts. Workers have a right to a guaranteed number of hours per week.
  • Legislate for four extra holidays a year. With an annual right to 29 days holidays, workers in Ireland have one of the lowest entitlements in Europe. Give workers a statutory right to bereavement leave.
  • Raise the minimum wage to the living wage. A living wage is calculated on what one needs for a socially acceptable standard of living.
  • Pay for internships. They are often used to exploit and dash the hopes of the young. They are also a free subsidy to businesses who get cheap labour.
  • Bring labour agencies back into the public sector. End the practice of giving a bounty to private companies who force social welfare recipients to take up unsuitable jobs.
  • Reform the Insolvency Act and Companies Act. Workers should not be at the back of the queue. They should get the payments they are entitled to in redundancy situations immediately.
  • Introduce maximum 5:1 pay ratios in the public sector so that top managers do not earn more than five times those on junior grades. Only award state contracts to private firms who adhere to this.
  • Change Industrial Relations Legislation. Abolish the 1990 Industrial Relations Act, which restrains workers from standing up for themselves. Stop companies taking out injunctions against workers and give workers a right to express solidarity.
  • Return the retirement age to 65. Protect workers’ pension rights.