Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South Seán Ó Fearghaíl has criticised the Government for failing to legislate to protect workers on short hour contracts.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl says the failure to take decisive action in the wake of the Dunnes Stores dispute has emboldened senior management at Bord na Móna to undermine the terms and conditions of employment for workers at the profit making company.
“The use of short hour contracts has been growing rapidly in recent years. It is an unhealthy development as workers stuck on these contracts do not have any long term security, and often cannot access welfare supports when their working hours are suddenly cut to unsustainable levels” said Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.
“Despite this the Government has failed to take action to protect workers on short hour’s contracts. This is clearly evident in the wake of the growing dispute at Dunnes Stores. The failure by the Government to bring forward legislation that they promised in this area has increased confidence among management in other companies that the terms and conditions of workers can be undermined without consequence.
“Just this week alone TD’s heard from a group representing Bord na Móna workers, and they outlined a disturbing situation where management at the company are cutting hours for workers and seeking to reduce wages. These workers are being left in limbo, as they are unsure what sort of employment conditions they will have in the months ahead and the Government is providing no certainty on the use of low hour’s contracts.
“This is unacceptable when you consider Bord na Móna is a well performing profit making company. I raised this matter in the Dáil this week and I have asked Minister Alex White to intervene directly with executives at Bord na Móna to resolve the growing dispute” said Deputy Ó Fearghaíl