Mandate Trade Union has welcomed today’s positive Live Register figures, which show a reduction in unemployment to a five year low of 11.2 percent. However, the Union is urging caution on the figures and questioning the quality of new jobs being created.
In 2008 there were 92,000 underemployed (or involuntary part time) workers in Ireland. That figure has now risen to 147,000 meaning in six short years, there has been a 60 percent increase in part-time workers who want to work extra hours but cannot access them.
John Douglas, Mandate Trade Union General Secretary said, “With a consistently increasing underemployment rate and a steadily growing poverty rate – including among those who are at work – government must face up to the fact that the quality of jobs in the Irish economy is deteriorating significantly.
“Our government must begin to focus policy on the creation of decent work which provides a living wage for all workers in our society. Nobody should be experiencing poverty or suffering deprivation – especially those who are already at work – but with almost one in five of those at work living in poor households, there is clearly something wrong with the type of employment and the pay rates on offer."
Mr Douglas added, “We cannot continue the ‘jobs at any cost’ approach which is currently being pursued by government. We need real jobs instead of questionable internship scheme’s and we need full-time work where available so that families can begin to lift themselves out of the poverty traps they now find themselves in."
He concluded, "Two areas where government can facilitate the improvement of labour market conditions is to legislate to enable part-time workers to avail of more hours as they become available and to implement effective collective bargaining legislation with a right to access for trade unions so that workers can negotiate fairer terms and conditions of employment."