Ireland - the best small country in the world to exploit workers?

Maeve McGrath

Abstract


Enda Kenny’s mantra may have been ‘the best small country in the world in which to do business’ but how does it look from a workers perspective?

The conditions of workers of all types have changed dramatically over the last few decades - from workers’ rights, conditions, legislation, wages and hours. Rights that were once taken for granted are disappearing.

In the North, 32,000 workers are on so called ‘zero hour’ contracts. This is where the hours an employee works are completely at the discretion of the employer and can in theory vary from no hours at all to full time. In England, approximately 1.4 million are on such contracts. The Scottish Trades Union Congress has estimated that 100,000 are on zero-hours contracts.


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