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ICTU rejects employer demands for pay freeze

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions says IBEC’s calls for a pay freeze would be “a recipe for conflict”.

Image: 1suisse.ch via Flickr

THE PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITTEE of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has dismissed an appeal for a wage freeze by the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation.

IBEC had earlier this week advised that any demands for wage increases on the part of employees be denied until at least 2013, due to the shrinking in the economy and the relatively high expenses of hiring in Ireland.

The unions, however, have said that rather than helping to bringing the Irish economy back in line with other worldwide workplaces, such a wage freeze would undermine the recovery even further.

“It is widely expected that the Budget will make further inroads into the domestic economy and target workers’ yet again to pay for the banks’ bail out,” said ICTU’s Eamon Devoy.

“We should be generating jobs and demand in the economy not suppressing them further… the last thing we need is for people to be told by IBEC or the Government that further cuts are on the way.

“The people who created the present crisis have already succeeded in deflating the economy to the point where the cure may succeed in killing the patient. It is time we called a halt to this self-destructive exercise.”

When issuing its own call earlier in the week, IBEC said 70% of Irish enterprises had already introduced a wage freeze, and maintained that unemployment would not be tackled by making it more expensive to retain current employees.

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Gavan Reilly

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