The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has announced it has withdrawn from the Government established Low Pay Commission.
Commenting on the decision, Patricia King, ICTU General Secretary said "we have been engaged in extensive discussion at the Low Pay Commission on proposed changes to the National Minimum Wage to be issued to the government for consideration. It became very clear to myself and Gerry Light General Secretary of Mandate, this evening that other members of the Commission were not prepared to propose an increase for 2021 beyond 1%, i.e. 10 cent. We could not in conscience be party to any recommendation that did not afford the lowest-paid workers in the Republic of Ireland an increase in excess of 2% similar to other sectors in our economy".
Patricia King said,"if we have learned anything as a society in this pandemic it is that we must value work and those who carry it out. We must make work pay. Many of the workers on the minimum wage form part of the cadre of essential workers who have helped keep our economy going through this Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore completely unacceptable that they and other workers who are the lowest paid in this state would not be afforded decency and fairness by receiving a modest minimum 2% increase in the National Minimum Wage".
'the lowest paid in our society suffered disproportionately during the last recession and we won't be party to a process that leaves them behind. Therefore it is with regret, but with clarity that we can no longer be part of this Low Pay Commission. There can be no going back to the old ways where the lowest paid are left behind. We will continue to campaign through other fora for a just increase," said the General Secretary.