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News : CWU to Seek a Pay Rise for Staff
May 7, 2014 -- The Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) is to seek a 6 per cent across-the-board pay increase for its members.
Speaking at the delegate conference of the CWU in Killarney, its president, Cormac O’Dalaigh said his members would not accept tax cuts as a substitute for pay rises.
He said the CWU was targeting "across-the-board" pay rises of 6 per cent for workers in the postal courier, telecom, call centre and e-communications sectors.
Ordinary workers who had not received wage increases "since the banker and corporate greed-led financial implosion of 2008 would not be fooled by moves dictated by right-wing orthodoxy that invariably favours the wealthy", he added.
"The message from this conference could not be clearer - Ireland needs a pay rise. Increasing the wages of ordinary workers will see them spend that money on essentials which will directly increase employment and the tax take in Ireland. We as a society have suffered enough for the disastrous mistakes of others, who in many cases insulated themselves from any pain. The losses of jobs, pay, pensions, homes, family members and public services will not be tolerated any longer.
"It is nonsense," he continued, "to state that pay rises in Ireland will make the country uncompetitive. The highest pay rates normally apply to those areas of the economy which are the most competitive, such as information and communications technology, pharmaceuticals etc.
"Giving retail or service workers who generally work in the domestic market a pay rise will not affect competitiveness unless we all start leaving the country to go for a haircut."
Mr O’Dalaigh said CWU members had taken many hits over the last six years, including the introduction of household charges and the universal social charge. He said members were also working more anti-social hours and faced reductions in pensions, pay and conditions.
"Furthermore, postal and telecoms workers have dug deep to make extraordinary sacrifices to support their employers and major communications firms, including agreed pay freezes and reductions in conditions. These sacrifices were negotiated on the clear and explicit understanding that once conditions improved, these sacrifices would be acknowledged and reversed. That day has now come. We say enough is enough."
He said: "The CWU has a deserved reputation for strength of purpose and solidarity in difficult circumstances, and we won’t be found wanting when we need to demonstrate our industrial capabilities both inside and outside of work in order to achieve a fair wage."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014