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Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage (21 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on this important legislation. I welcome the confirmation by the Labour Party spokesperson that his party will oppose CETA. My understanding had been that that party's position on that was not clear, so this is very welcome news for those of us who will work hard in opposing that agreement. I want to talk about climate action and a just...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Loan Guarantee Schemes Agreements (Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland) Bill 2021: Waiver of Pre-Legislative Scrutiny (20 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: I probably will not take all that time. I do not like the practice of waiving pre-legislative scrutiny as a general rule. I fully appreciate, however, that it is necessary from time to time. I hope this is not a practice that develops because, unfortunately, in the context of one of the committees I was on in the previous Dáil, it became an unfortunate practice and led to some...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Business of Joint Committee (20 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: The fact the Cabinet is about to meet face to face for the first time in months signals to me not that there will be a relaxation but perhaps that circumstances are changing a little. Would we be able, therefore, to schedule some additional meetings and have some more freedom in light of that? It would be very welcome. Specifically, can we schedule a meeting with content moderators and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: As I have used the raise hand feature and have now lowered the hand, I will get a gold star. Good morning to the witnesses. I thank them very much for the evidence they have given. This is a matter in which I have an interest for many reasons, mostly from a workers' rights perspective, as I am sure they appreciate. Some of the witnesses will have seen me speaking before the Covid-19...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: It is the meat industry in particular as it is what we are discussing this morning.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: I have a view that is borne from many years of experience that the best thing any worker can do is join a trade union, and vindicate their rights such as they are through a union and the power of collective action. I have a specific question on migrant workers who work in the industry that Mr. Carroll represents. In times gone by the meat industry was heavily unionised. I am not certain...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: Does Mr. Carroll have evidence to back up his assumption?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: So it is not something MII would survey. For those of us, particularly those from a workers' rights background but not exclusively, when one considers the industry, as pointed out by Ms McGinley, is characterised by low pay and precarious work one would tend towards the view that it is not a highly unionised sector, particularly for those people at the business end. With regard to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: I apologise for cutting across Mr. Healy but we are tight on time and the Chair is very strict about time. Has the sector considered raising wages to see if it would stimulate demand domestically or did it peg the wages at low hourly rates but did not find people so went outside the country?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: We are specifically talking about people on the work permits this morning. That is why.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: It was always thus, I suppose, and it will remain. I received a parliamentary question response from the Tánaiste's office regarding the WRC inspections. They revised the figure of 46% non-compliance with WRC inspectors upwards to 48%. In terms of the number of meat processing inspections by the WRC inspectors, 48% of those were found to be non-compliant with employment law and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: Now come on, Mr. Healy. That is a little like if your brother stuck his finger in the fire and you did as well.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: We are specifically talking about Mr. Healy's industry here this morning and we are not talking about others.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: That is without that €180,000. We are looking at small numbers of inspections taking place. For example, in 2015, there were four inspections and four breaches and, in 2016, nine inspections and six breaches. It might be in line with some other industries. From what I have viewed, I do not accept that it is.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: That does not make it right. I refer to the recovery of that money for some of the lowest paid workers in this State. When we consider the WRC is operating with approximately half the inspectors it should be, the commission is certainly not by a long shot getting into every factory or place that Mr. Healy represents but every time its staff get in and conduct an inspection we see that there...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: It does not do Mr. Healy's industry any favours.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: I apologise for interrupting. I know my time is up but I have one very brief question.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: Is Mr. Healy suggesting that the figures referred to here relate only to people MII is not representing on the back of a survey it carried out?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: Sixty-one in total, that is correct.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2019: Discussion (Resumed) (13 Apr 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: This underlines the need for more WRC inspectors.

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