National minimum wage

Surely some mistake

A bug seems to have gotten into the section on the National Minimum Wage in SIPTU's pre-budget submission, and, unfortunately, spread from there through the system to the NEC's 'Connection' bulletin and the 'Checklist for Charlie' of the 'Share the Wealth' campaign. A National Minimum Wage of £4.40 an hour is called for, to apply from January 2000.

Is it not the case that £4.40 an hour, to be implemented in 2000, is less than the recommendation of the National Minimum Wage Commission and of the ICTU's interpretation of the recommendation? The Commission did not recommend a rate of £4.40 an hour in April 2000. It recommended a rate of two-thirds the median wage, and that the minimum wage should be introduced in April 2000. The Commission's Report mentions £4.40 an hour by way of illustration, as two-thirds of what the median was in April 1997. The Commission clearly implies that the rate should be two-thirds of the median wage in April 2000.

IBEC's Report of 17th November, calling for measures to drive the unemployed into the unfilled shitty vacancies, does not extend the mercy of the National Minimum Wage to those they would economically press-gang.

On the contrary, the Report also calls for a moratorium on the minimum wage legislation already agreed. The National Minimum Wage is not home and dried.

The unions, together with community, voluntary and unemployed groups, need to defend it. The Dublin Council of Trade Unions is continuing its campaign for the immediate implement-ation of the Commission's rate, with a lobby of all Dublin TDs and a lit-up publicity walkabout in the city centre on 10th December (meeting at 6.30 p.m. at the Ambassador Cinema, Parnell Square).

To the SIPTU Fightback page