Ireland - Union leaders reject employers’ call for pay freeze - September 30, 2010

IBEC, the country’s main employers’ association, has called upon unions not to entertain any claims for pay rises in 2011 or 2012 on the basis that wage levels remain significantly out of line with many of the country’s key trading partners. Jack O’Connor, President of SIPTU and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), has challenged IBEC’s assertion that a pay freeze to 2013 would support jobs. “Jobs are the critical issue, but a blanket pay freeze is not the right way to go”, he said, arguing that “A much more subtle approach is required. Our exports are booming but domestic consumption is still declining. Persuading people to spend again is the key to jobs.” O’Connor stressed that Irish labour costs fell by 2.9% in 2009 and are expected to fall by a further 5.1% in 2010. Eamon Devoy of the ICTU’s private sector committee also rejected IBEC’s call, stating: “A unilateral call for a pay freeze is a recipe for conflict. Far from helping our economic recovery it will undermine it further.”



This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) You may find further information on the ETUI, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2009.

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