General Secretary Patricia King's letter to An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, on the hospitality sector working group, re-opening.
I refer to the recent meeting with both An Taoiseach and yourself together with other Government Ministers regarding the above.
As you will recall ICTU, in the interests of constructive engagement and in the absence of any practical solutions from the sector representatives, put forward for your consideration a proposal to include:
- The immediate rollout of a vaccine offer to all over 18-year olds in line with current practise in other European countries with particular reference to the Netherlands model.
- The introduction of an Antigen Testing programme on a continuous basis possibly modelled on the meat factories experience.
- That all aspects of the ‘Return To Work Safely’ Protocol be implemented within the sector to ensure the safety of workers in their workplace.
- That a Monitoring Group with Public Health and Health and Safety Authority oversight be established without delay to oversee the measures at 2 and 3 above.
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was agreed to form a Working Group to assist in the development of overall solutions for the sector given current public health advice.
While I understand Government have already made a definitive decision relating to the proposal at 1. above which is welcome, we believe it is imperative that the workers’ voice be heard in the Working Group. We would request that an ICTU representative be included in the work of this group.
Thanking you for your consideration of this matter.