SINN FÉIN TD Kathleen Funchion has expressed frustration and annoyance at words of sympathy and pseudo support for workers’ rights to find this never converts to legislative protection.
“If workers could spend words of sympathy they might be able to do something with them, but as it stands words are useless.
“The plight of Debenhams Workers reminds of the pains of so many before because Governments failed to implement legislation.
“The Taoiseach used the words shabby, shoddy and unacceptable to describe how the Debenhams Workers were treated by employers.
“It would have been apt to use the same words to describe how this and previous Governments have ill-treated workers.
“Following the shameful way Clearys workers were treated, Sinn Féin put forward a Bill in 2017 that would have provided improved protection for workers at times of so-called liquidations,
“This never got beyond Second Stage because the Fine Gael-led, Fianna Fáil supported Government blocked it.
“Tactical insolvencies hurt workers and small business owners and suppliers who are owed money are left high and dry.
“The same old sympathy is rolled out but passing protective legislation never sees the light of day.
“It is time to put an end to this scandal.
“The stalemate was worsened by the disgraceful arrest of six Debenhams workers.”
Kathleen and party colleagues expected action not more talk when it came to the insurance industry using dual pricing to rip-off customers.
She welcomed the first phase of the Central Bank’s Review of differential pricing in the insurance sector carried out as a result of a complaint by Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty.
“The pricing methods punish loyal customers and harm vulnerable and low-income groups.
“We will continue to raise these matters which punish working families.
“Perhaps this is why those representing vested interests were and continue to be so interested in keeping us out of Government.”
As Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen asked Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Tusla to use common sense in the application of the 20-day absenteeism rule during Covid.
She wanted to ensure that children who miss school due to Covid will not have those days count towards the 20 days requirement for Tusla to be notified.
She pointed out that Government guidance states that students with symptoms of Covid should not attend school.
“It follows that since absenteeism rules aren’t intended to create difficulties for parents then the rules should not apply in those circumstances.”