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Wage Increases Good For Workers And Economy

With the profits of private companies increasing, trade unions have vowed to secure sizable wage increases for their members across Ireland in order to help revive the economy.

According to the retail workers union, Mandate, thousands of its members have secured pay increases in recent weeks.

Mandate Communications Officer, David Gibney, said: “Why are workers expected to take ‘cost of living’ pay increases in line with inflation – and tied to productivity – when profits are never aligned to such an increase?

“In fact, when profits go through the roof, it’s seen as a good thing and not uncompetitive and yet workers are considered greedy if they seek a few extra euros in their back pockets as reward for the hard work they do.”

SIPTU is also committed to “a major push to win pay increases across the private sector in order to improve living standards and to stimulate domestic demand in the economy.”

SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, said: “The best way to stimulate domestic demand which accounts for three quarters of the economy is by growing consumption. And the best way to do this is by increasing pay and purchasing power and we are precisely focused on assisting workers to organise themselves to this end.”

“2014 should become the year of the wage increase,” said Unite Economist, Michael Taft, “Lord knows, workers need one.

Falling incomes, rising prices, increased taxation, cuts in income supports and public services – all have contributed to a toxic situation where living standards are falling, especially under the continuing burden of household debt. So, yes, a wage increase is not only desirable but necessary.”

He added: “Raising wages for high earners is not very productive – most of this will just end up in savings. That’s why wage increases should be targeted at lowand average income earners.”

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