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Mandate General Secretary and ICTU President John Douglas. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Bad timing

Mandate union says water charges will result in job losses for the real economy

Mandate General Secretary John Douglas said workers who work for companies making substantial profits now deserve a pay increase.

THE GENERAL SECRETARY of Mandate John Douglas said the timing of introducing water charges is “all wrong”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week radio programme, Douglas said water charges would have a “massive impact” on workers.

He said that thought there would be substanial job losses in retail, bars and restaurants if water charges are introduced, adding that while there could be an argument for a flat rate of charging in the future, now was not the time as people could simply not afford it.

Mandate represent workers who work in the retail sector, bars and restaurants.

“It could cause job losses in real economy,” said Douglas, adding that people did not have a disposable income.

Pay rise

Douglas said that many of the workers that the union represents deserves an increase in their pay, stating that many work for large companies that are posting substantial profits.

He asked the businesses and retailers invest in their staff, stating that they deserve decent living wage.

The union leader said they had alread successfully negotiated pay increase for some of their workers amounting to saying that this money is spent back into the local economy, creating jobs.

Mandate said they advocated pay rises rather than tax cuts as many of the 45,000 members they represent would be on a lower wage, meaning they do not qualify to pay tax.

Speaking briefly about the reception Education Minister Ruairi Quinn received at the teachers’ union conference this week, Douglas said he understood that workers in all sectors of society are “frustrated”.

However, he said Mandate rarely invite politicians to address their conferences, but said any guest they do invite is a “guest of ours and we treat them as guests”.

 Read: Every little helps: Thousands of Tesco workers get a pay rise>

Read: Mandate union withdraws from strike action at DAA>

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