SIPTU slams ‘craven’ attempt by IBEC to row back on rights for the lowest paid

SIPTU representatives have condemned what they have described as ‘craven attempts’ by IBEC, the employers body, to pressurise the Government into pausing further increases in the minimum wage and improvements in statutory sick pay.

Liberty (@SIPTU)
2 min readJan 22, 2024

Responding to IBEC claims in the media today (Monday, 22nd January), that businesses will be damaged due to recent statutory improvements for workers, incoming SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Private Sector, Greg Ennis, said: “It is incredible that IBEC seeks to place hundreds of thousands of low paid workers to the back of the queue when it comes to getting a fairer share of the wealth that they produce.

Incoming SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Private Sector, Greg Ennis pictured at SIPTU BDC in 2022.

“Many of these same workers were lauded by IBEC as essential during the pandemic and rightly recognised as frontline heroes. That has now been forgotten about as IBEC seeks to deny basic improvements in their wages and conditions in favour of the relentless drive to rinse more out of them in the pursuit of profit and shareholder dividends.

“Lower paid workers feel the impact on their livelihoods the most from the cost of living crisis and high inflation. They spend the largest percentage of their earnings on basics including rent and food. While the headline inflation rate is not rising as steeply, grocery inflation was running at 12% for the last quarter of 2023. It is such significant increases in necessities which is impacting these workers the most.”

He added: “The reality is that Ireland, despite some modest improvements over the last number of years still lags way behind the rest of Europe when it comes to sick pay, maternity pay and the ability of workers to collectively bargain with their employer for improvements. This needs to change and IBEC should not stand in the way of such progress which will be of benefit to our society in general.”