The largest pork processor in the country, Rosderra Irish Meats has cited the impact of Brexit as a reason not to give staff their first pay increase in eight years.
At the Labour Court rejecting Siptu’s claim for an 8% pay increase, Rosderra said it faces an extremely difficult trading environment “in particular with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union”.
However, the Labour Court has rejected the company’s case and has recommended a 4% pay increase for employees. Rosderra operates slaughtering and processing facilities at Edenderry, Co Offaly and at Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
Separately, the construction industry group has said large-scale pay increases for building workers could impact on the ability of ordinary citizens to obtain housing as well as reducing national competitiveness.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) also claimed a once-off pay increase of 10% could result in around 8,000 fewer jobs being created in the industry each year for the next five years.
It issued the warning after trade unions representing construction workers indicated they would seek a 10% pay rise as part of a new sectoral employment order (SEO) under consideration by the two parties in talks at the Labour Court.
As a result of a landmark Supreme Court decision in May 2013, all registered employment agreements that governed a number of industries, including construction, ceased to have a legal basis.
The Government subsequently passed the Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2015 which provides for SEOs as a replacement for the former system.
Under the legislation, the Labour Court can recommend to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation that such an order, which can set out minimum pay rates, should be made.
Both the CIF and trade unions favour some kind of new agreement but differ over the basic pay rate. The CIF has proposed that €17.21 per hour should be the rate for craftspeople.
However, it remains opposed to the introduction of travel allowances for construction workers. Ictu insists the rate should be €18.96 and travel expenses must be included.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved