ATGWU rejects employers’ claims about high Irish wages

The ATGWU has rejected employers' claims that high wages are undermining Ireland's economic competitiveness.

In a report published today, the union says industrial wages in Ireland are 10% below the average in the 15 most prosperous EU states.

It also says almost 20% of Irish workers are officially ranked as low-paid, the second highest proportion throughout the entire EU, while Irish employees work longer hours and receive less perks than their European counterparts.

ATGWU regional secretary Michael O'Reilly said the figures showed employers were being disingenuous in blaming wages for their competitiveness problems.

He also said he wanted a provision in any new social partnership deal that would allow workers to claim additional pay rises from profitable companies.

"The employers have always insisted on an inability-to-pay clause," he said.

"Many, many companies in this survey are making massive profits in this economy and I think, where workers make a contribution to those profits, there should be an ability-to-pay clause."

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