What was remarkable about your lead story (‘Over 400 workers strike for 6 per cent cost of living hike’, Irish Independent, 16 August) was that the workers’ demand of 6 per cent seems very reasonable given current price increases.
Despite costs skyrocketing, these workers have had to wade through labor court bureaucracy only to have their claim inexplicably reduced to a paltry 3 percent. Of particular interest is the contrast between the treatment of high-income groups and the rest.
A recent report showed that the average salary of some CEOs has almost doubled from before the coronavirus pandemic. One has to wonder, what raises did all the frontline workers who kept the country afloat during the pandemic get?
Ireland’s highest-paid CEO now has an annual salary of €13.9 million, a staggering 24 percent increase from 2020. How can unequal treatment be acceptable to anyone?
While everyone accepts that we are in uncertain times, it is certainly crucial that we work to ensure that the distribution of wealth is as equitable as possible, while recognizing the need for incentives and rewards for specific skills.
However, the current gap between the top and the bottom earners borders on the obscene and is certainly unsustainable, particularly from a social cohesion perspective.
In order to put some order into the matter, it may be time to consider introducing statutory wage caps at both ends of the scale – a minimum wage and a maximum wage.
There is clearly enough money to satisfy everyone’s needs but not everyone’s greed, and it is becoming very obvious
now that the creation of a just and humane society will not happen by itself.
If the government is unwilling to take a leadership role on this matter, it should at least lead the way through action and deed.
Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, Sligo
Puck Fair is so cruel – it’s time to bring in a goat statue
Having listened ad nauseam to the many discussions surrounding the treatment of goats during the Puck Fair in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, I would like to address a few important points on the subject.
The goat’s natural habitat is on a mountain and it should not be moved from there to ‘enhance’ the enjoyment or atmosphere for people at such a festival.
This environment of noise, music and boisterous behavior – and drunkenness – is completely alien to the poor animal and leaves no doubt that it is experiencing stress at this time, whether or not the animal is in good health according to a veterinarian’s report.
As a proud person to be Irish, I am ashamed that this practice continues on our shores. You wouldn’t abandon your cat, dog or other animal up there, so why punish a poor mountain goat?
Even if there hadn’t been a heat wave, it’s a shameful practice. Surely those in power in Kerry could get sponsorship money for a beautiful statue of a mountain goat that would serve the festival well and honor the 400 year cruelty-free tradition.
Catherine Clarke, Swords, Co Dublin
Freedom of expression cannot cross the line and hurt other people
Killian Foley-Walsh says: “Freedom of expression should be absolute or none at all” (Letters, August 16).
Unfortunately, in the ubiquitous era of algorithmic social media, where message can be amplified exponentially and often anonymously, this view is problematic.
As Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin said in March at the Seanad during a debate on a proposed Council Decision on Hate Speech and Hate Crime, “Freedom of expression is not freedom of expression when, in the end, there is a price and there is a sacrifice.”
I tend to agree with Attorney General Helen McEntee, who ended this debate by saying, “We need a clear line.”
People should be able to say what they want and express themselves, but where this crosses the line and hurts other people, this cannot be tolerated.
Tom McElligott, Listowel, Co. Kerry
Language is important, especially for Irish people visiting France
The problem we face when we are English speaking Irish people in France is that people mostly assume our nationality is British. I always get it early in the conversation now that it’s not us.
Sorry, but the thought of the French thinking we’re not good Europeans is almost unbearable.
Alison Hackett, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/if-we-have-a-minimum-wage-why-not-a-maximum-one-41917129.html If we have a minimum wage, why not a maximum wage?