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Irish minimum wage under threat

10 December 2010

Emergency legislation on the reduction of the minimum wage in Ireland is being rushed through the Dáil today. The legislation would give legal effect to changes announced in the budget.

The NUJ has strongly condemned the reduction in the minimum wage and has warned that the move will have a detrimental impact upon pay in many sections of the Irish media.

At a meeting of the NUJ Irish Executive Council, Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary, said that journalists employed in the regional newspaper and independent radio sector were among the lowest paid journalists in the country.

The minimum wage has been used as a base for salaries by a number of media companies.

Séamus Dooley said:

"Because there is a certain 'celebrity' status attaching to journalis, local journalists are sometimes reluctant to admit that their wages are extremely low. In the independent commercial radio sector, exploitation is rife, with the added dimension of a refusal by a significant number of radio owners to recognise trade unions.
"Journalists are being forced to come out of the 'low pay closet' like many workers in other sectors whose pay has been decimated."

Séamus Dooley contrasted the emergency legislation being pushed through the Oireachtas this week with the failure of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to honour a long-standing commitment in relation to employment rights.

"A budget is not just a book keeping statement but a statement of priorities. The targeting of the poor and vulnerable is an eloquent expression of the place of the low paid and the unemployed in Irish society today."

Tags: , minimum wage, cuts, dáil, newspapers, regional newspapers, independent broadcasting, radio