"Minister Bruton's intervention last night was also a serious assault on the Labour Court, a slap in the face to all who worked to prepare the Duffy-Walsh Review of JLCs which had only recently been published, and the death knell for any expectation of a balanced or fair review of JLCs, REAs or EROs.
"A modern economy cannot be built on slave wages" continued Mr Finnegan. "All successful modern enterprise is built on decent wages, proper working conditions; respectful labour relations, and an ongoing staff training programme. Unfortunately many of our Irish gombeens, who like to pass themselves off as entrepreneurs, have not learned that basis lesson. Instead they are wedded to the old get-rich-quick philosophy which is exactly the philosophy that has got us into the present mess".
"It is particularly sickening for low-paid workers and their families to be lectured to by Minister Bruton who, apart from his annual salary of €181,000, is a substantial landowner and owner of stockmarket shares. This man, who has never experienced poverty in his entire life, is kicking those who are just about on the threshold of a living wage firmly into the category of the working poor. Does our Minister for Enterprise really believe that economic growth can flow from employments paying less than a living wage? If he does his economic understanding is remarkably perverse".
"Once again, sadly, the Labour Party in government have totally succumbed to their senior partner. The performance of their deputy leader, Minister Joan Burton TD, as she floundered and fumbled on today's Morning Ireland programme in an attempt to find some formula or fig-leaf to disguise this abject surrender was truly appalling. The Labour Party, having already departed from so much of their pre-election promises, have now deserted the working poor."
"The Workers Party calls on the Trade Union Movement, Left members of the Oireachtas, all genuine Left parties and groups to unite on a campaign to defend the lowest paid and most easily exploited sectors of the workforce. If Bruton and company win on this" concluded Mr Finnegan "then we can rest assured that the race to the bottom in every sector of the economy will be a looming reality".
Issued: Thursday 26th May 2011