The minimum wage should be raised from €10.50 to a “living wage” of no less than €14 an hour, according to the union mandate.
andate, which represents nearly 30,000 workers in the retail, bar and administrative sectors, also called for a 50 percent reduction in public transport fares and a 50 percent reduction in childcare fees.
In his pre-budget proposal released today, Mandate deputy secretary-general Jonathan Hogan said its members are “being squeezed very hard at the moment between low wages and high cost of living”.
“The only viable solution is to increase incomes and lower costs for basic services that workers rely on.”
Mandate is also calling for action to allow some of its members access to more working hours to help the most vulnerable members of the workforce.
“To ensure our most vulnerable workers have a decent income, we need the government to raise the national minimum wage to a living wage, which we think is €14 an hour. We should also allow workers to improve their own wages directly with their employer and the best way to do that is through extended collective bargaining rights,” Hogan said.
“An increase in an employee’s hourly wage is irrelevant if their employer reduces their hours or refuses to allow that employee overtime.”
The minimum wage is currently €10.50, with some exceptions in certain sectors and age groups.
Mandate said it had been urging the government for nearly a decade to implement the EU’s part-time work directive, which would allow vulnerable low-wage workers to increase their earnings by working more hours.
“If the government allowed unions to do their job by improving collective bargaining rights, giving unions access to the workplace and reforming the 1990 Industrial Relations Act to prevent worker harassment, workers could secure their own pay rises in profitable companies enforce what would help them through this cost of living crisis.”
“Two years ago, our members, who are essential workers, were rightly hailed as heroes for putting their health on the line during the pandemic. Normal service now appears to have resumed, where retail and other essential workers are expected to survive on low wages, inadequate social services and substandard union rights. It’s just not good enough,” Hogan said.
The union is also calling for an immediate rent freeze, a doubling of government investment in housing, and a declaration of a housing emergency.
Mandate is calling for a further 30 percent cut in public transport fares, on top of the 20 percent fare reduction already this year, meaning a 50 percent cut in April 2022 fares.
“This would reduce costs for workers but also reduce our carbon footprint as we encourage workers to leave their cars at home,” Mandate said.
Mandate is also calling for a €350m investment in a childcare wage subsidy scheme and to ensure the subsidy is passed on to parents in the form of a 50% fee reduction.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/increase-minimum-wage-by-350-to-14-per-hour-trade-union-mandate-demands-in-budget-submission-41955603.html Increase minimum wage by 3.50 euros to 14 euros per hour, demands union mandate when budget is presented