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Michael Colreavy, T.D. Consituency Office
Upper John Street
Sligo
(071) 9154040
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20 March, 2010

EXPORTING OUR GOODS – NOT OUR PEOPLE!

Sligo Sinn Féin has announced that they are launching a county-wide job creation campaign over the spring to highlight both spiralling unemployment in County Sligo and the Government’s total failure to tackle the issue.

Sinn Féin’s campaign will focus on the positive aspects of the employment pool and educational infrastructure in County Sligo and the steps required in turning that potential into real jobs.

Campaign spokesperson Councillor Chris MacManus say’s that the priority “has to be about stopping the flow of skilled workers out of the region, and to enhance investment and development which will promote job creation and training.”

“That there are currently 5,279 Sligo people on the live register cannot be allowed to continue, and recent job loses locally, such as at Stiefel and Tiscali should not be repeated.

“By promoting job creation in the locality and keeping those we have, a positive ‘Can Do’ message will be sent out to say that we are serious about putting Sligo back on its feet.

“It’s not all about external factors affecting the economy. We should not lose out because of the lack of proper representation in the Dail or a fair distribution of new jobs across the country. We already have the raw materials for change in our workforce potential. It’s up to us to create that change.

“We can achieve this by investing in our young people; by retraining those unlucky to have lost jobs, and by taking full advantage of our indigenous businesses, many of whom have great potential if only given the opportunity to develop.

“Sligo is also unique in that it is a gateway city, with a regional airport and two third-level colleges in Sligo IT and St Angela's, with a ready availability of highly trained young people eager to take on any challenges put to them.

Investing in our future through building schools, hospitals and business infrastructure will help put Sligo back in the frame. Developing an export strategy that focuses on indigenous exports and not over reliant on multinationals can only have a positive effect on local industry.

“Over the next couple of months Sinn Fein will be conducting an energetic campaign here in County Sligo. Over 10,000 leaflets and posters will be distributed by party activists as well as launching an internet campaign on facebook and YouTube via our website at www.sligosinnfein.com. We will also be bringing to Sligo, Sinn Fein members of the Dail and the Northern Assembly, including Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy, to meet with a number of stakeholders and statutory agencies in relation to job creation. Sligo Sinn Fein believes it is important not just to highlight the deficiencies that exist, but also to engage and agree common sense proposals that will assist the local economy in recovering.

Sinn Féin will be spreading the news that our future is in our hands; that it’s up to us – with every possible help from the government –  to pull ourselves back into the light of industrial and social prosperity” Cllr. MacManus finished. END

tel: Chris @ 086 811 9550


MacManus Seeks Action on Yearly Unemployment Rise of 62% in Co. Sligo.
(7-Nov-08)

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Sinn Féin Councillor Sean MacManus has sharply criticised the Government’s inaction on job creation after the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office showed that unemployment has risen from 5.1% to 6.7% in the third quarter of this year. Councillor MacManus called on the Government to introduce a back to education scheme for young construction workers.

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Proposing a Motion to Sligo Co. Council demanding equal rights for agency workers Sinn Féin Councillor Sean MacManus criticised the ongoing failure of government to introduce legislation to end the abuse of these workers.  Councillor Mac Manus described the absence of adequate legislation to protect agency workers as “ a cancer in the Irish labour market” and  said that if the abuse of agency workers was not tackled now exploitation would spread “aggressively and invasively through all workplaces and all sectors”.

Proposing his motion Councillor Mac Manus said:
 
“The purpose of this motion is to call on the government to halt the rising tide of exploitation that is resulting from their failure to legislate for the principle of equal
treatment for agency workers. This is an issue which is of serious concern for all workers in this state because the current situation is undermining the employment rights of all workers. This motion demands that the abuse of agency workers is ended and that their right to equal treatment with other workers is enshrined in law.

In 2005, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against Irish
Ferries plans to replace their employees with workers supplied by an off shore employment agency. Irish Ferries wanted to pay rates substantially less than the minimum wage and the public were outraged. The dispute occurred within six months of the Gama construction scandal, which revealed what was happening to Turkish workers employed through another offshore employment agency.

The situation has not improved since then. Not only are agency workers being denied their rights--entitlements such as sick pay, holiday pay and overtime and rates of pay equivalent to permanent staff-- increasing numbers of new jobs are temporary and are being filled by agency workers. The employment of agency workers is resulting in the displacement of directly employed workers.  This is not just an issue that affects migrant workers, existing Irish workers are being displaced, are forced to work as agency workers and are seeing their wages being driven down and their existing conditions undermined as a result of the failure to legislate for the principle of equal treatment. This practice is also driving down general wage levels across a range of sectors.  “The absence of adequate legislation to protect agency workers is like a cancer in the Irish labour market.  If it is not tackled now exploitation will spread aggressively and invasively through all workplaces and all sectors – already its affects are evident in construction, hotel and services, retail, red meat and mushroom industries.” 

“Not only has the Government failed to introduce domestic legislation on this issue, it has shamefully played a pivotal role in blocking an EU Directive on Temporary Agency Workers.  It is time for the Government to introduce domestic legislation and to drop its opposition to the proposed EU Directive.  It is time for the Government to fulfil its obligation to protect decent work standards for all workers.” Everyone who supports equality and fairness for workers must support this motion”

ENDS

 

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