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Ireland: Trade union calls for ban on subcontracting agencies in the meat industry

"SIPTU seeking ban on agencies providing workers to meat industry", 12 April 2021

Members of trade union SIPTU are seeking a ban on agencies providing workers to the meat industry so as to ensure direct employment.

Speaking after an investigation into illegal work practices in the meat processing industry by the Irish Mail on Sunday, SIPTU manufacturing division organiser Greg Ennis said that many workers in the industry “are afraid to speak out”.

"We are particularly concerned at the possible outbreaks of the new Covid-19 variants in Irish meat processing plants. While the union has a good working relationship with some employers, many employments are breeding grounds for exploitation."

SIPTU is now calling on the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to meet with worker representatives to discuss putting in place immediate measures to address issues around employment.

“These must ensure that work permits are granted on the condition that the employer provides decent terms and conditions, a record of ensuring a safe workplace and proper sick pay provision,” Ennis continued.

“We are also seeking a ban on agencies providing workers to the meat industry so as to ensure direct employment, as is now the case in Germany, and that greater resources are made available to the Health and Safety Authority [HSA] and the Department of Social Protection to assist in eradicating the form of modern slavery.”...

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