Unite urges Doherty to publish tips legislation before Dail recess

unite-white-out-of-redPromised legislation follows determined action by Unite members and campaigners

June 12th: Unite today welcomed the announcement by Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty that she will be bringing forward legislation to ensure that tips are not used to make up contractual pay rates, and called on the Minister to publish the draft Heads of the Bill before the Dail goes into recess next month.

Unite represents members working for the luxury ‘The Ivy’ restaurant which uses tips to make up the difference between the Minimum Wage and workers’ contracted pay rates.

Unite first called for legislation to close this loophole back in April. Unite Senior Officer Brendan Ogle today paid tribute to Unite members in ‘The Ivy’ who met Minister Doherty in March this year to highlight and give written testimony on this issue:

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Newry, Mourne and Down District Council management must accord women period dignity

_TC80104Union members slam inadequacy of council approach which seeks to place onus on staff for donations to addressing period poverty

Management approach should focus on providing women with dignity and normalising a natural biological process

Unite Regional Women’s and Equalities Officer, Taryn Trainor, challenged the insulting and patronising approach adopted by council management at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council in response to her union’s period dignity campaign:

“Over the last year, Unite has been leading a period dignity campaign that seeks to address both the growing problem of period poverty and the fact that women are forced to feel shame or embarrassment about their periods. Key objectives of this campaign are to ensure that tampons and other sanitary products are provided free by employers and public authorities, that they are zero rated for VAT, and that having a period is viewed as a natural facet of female biology. Continue reading

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UK and Ireland-wide survey confirms scale of workplace problems in Northern Ireland’s community and voluntary sector

_TC80104Survey of more than 2,500 working in the sector confirms stress, low-pay, management bullying are leading to low staff morale and mental health challenges

Unite Equalities Officer, Taryn Trainor, called for workers in the community and voluntary sector to join her union after revealing the regionalised results of a UK and Ireland-wide survey which demonstrated serious workplace problems across a range of indicators.

“Unite received more than 2,500 responses to an online survey of those working in the community and voluntary sector. The results were truly startling – on a wide range of indicators, employees in the sector here are reporting significantly more problems than elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.

“Three in five Northern Ireland workers reported that they thought their work was insecure compared to two in five in both Britain and the Republic of Ireland while almost three-quarters reported that their pay had failed to keep pace with inflation again significantly more than equivalent figures elsewhere. Continue reading

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Peter Mark abolishes new training fee following Unite campaign

unite white out of redWorkers to receive entitlements backdated to March 4th

Victory comes on eve of Unite conference 

May 12th Unite, which represents workers in the hairdressing sector, today (Sunday) welcomed Peter Mark’s decision to abolish a new ‘training fee’ which the chain had levied to claw back wage increases due to young workers under the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018. Following a concerted campaign by Unite, the hairdressing chain has confirmed that it is abolishing the training fee and will pay the workers concerned the proper rate backdated to March 4th, when the new legislation came into force.

Commenting, Unite Senior Officer Brendan Ogle said the news again demonstrated what workers acting collectively can achieve:

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Unite warns costs may cancel out modest wage gains for construction and electrical workers

unite-white-out-of-redMay 10th: Extending a cautious welcome for Minister Pat Breen’s decision to approve new minimum pay rates for construction and electrical contracting workers recommended by the Labour Court, trade union Unite warned that what Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald termed “modest wage gains” could be largely cancelled out by spiralling costs in areas such as housing and childcare.

“Today’s news that Minister Breen has accepted the recommended new pay rates is some good news for workers in the construction and electrical contracting sectors.  However, if construction jobs are to be good jobs and the industry as a whole sustainable, the government will need to contain spiralling costs.

“Many construction workers cannot afford to either buy or rent the houses they build”, Tom Fitzgerald pointed out.

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