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1 Workplace Racism in Ireland Workplace Racism in Ireland The trade union view from the Republic of Ireland David Joyce.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Workplace Racism in Ireland Workplace Racism in Ireland The trade union view from the Republic of Ireland David Joyce."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Workplace Racism in Ireland Workplace Racism in Ireland The trade union view from the Republic of Ireland David Joyce

2 2 Overview of Presentation Evolution of Anti Racist Workplace Week in ROI Developments in the Race area and the current “crisis” Is it still needed? Making the case…. Some EU developments Emerging issues for trade unions

3 3 Anti Racist Workplace Week 1999 to 2007 Equality Authority with the social partners – ICTU / IBEC / CIF / IFA etc… Evaluation and subsequent discussion –strategy to replace it should be radically different from the previous campaigns –key areas were those of promoting awareness of the need for anti-racist workplace activity and the promotion of new and good practice in anti-racism in Irish workplaces. –partnership model should continue. –move from an awareness week to a year long strategy with different actions in various sectors throughout the year. –action strategy launched in November 2008 and to be implemented in 2009…

4 4 Trade Union Actions for ASIW 2009 Training –A five day training course was designed and piloted in January, with a distinct focus on developing integrated workplaces and diversity. The aim of this training was to communicate to trade unions the benefits and challenges of integrated workplaces and to encourage them to become active on the issue. –This five day training was followed up by three stand alone seminars that focused on equality and diversity. These seminars focused on developing the case for being proactive on integrated workplaces within the trade union movement and also with employers. Challenge funds –The aim of these challenge funds was to enable trade unions to implement a practical initiative to increase awareness and competency in the area of diversity and equality and they have offered individual unions the opportunity to introduce a dedicated integrated workplace strategy for their union, and also the workplaces that they are active in. –A total of 8 challenge funds were awarded to different unions and the following initiatives are being developed: Diversity training for shop stewards and officials Developing diversity audits and policies Developing training for trainers on the race ground Information for employees on diversity and discrimination in the workplace Training for managing culturally diverse workplaces In conclusion, the integrated workplaces project has provided Congress with a unique opportunity to develop and support equality advocates in the trade union movement. It has also given affiliate unions the possibility to develop their own tailored projects, Projects supported will be continued and mainstreamed by the unions thus ensuring a continued focus on the need for a planned and systematic approach to the issue of integrated workplaces.

5 5 Other developments… Abolition of NCCRI 43% cut to budget of Equality Authority and subsequent resignations… End of National Action Plan Against Racism (NPAR) Suggested abolition of the Office of the Minister for Integration (McCarthy Report) Still needed?

6 6 Statistics… –Number of non-Irish nationals in the labour force declined by almost 34,500 in second quarter 2009 –According to latest quarterly national household survey, there were an estimated 444,800 non-Irish nationals aged 15 years and over in the State (down 7.2% over the year) (Number peaked at 491,500 in Q1 2008) –The estimated number of non-Irish nationals in the labour force was 325,400, a decrease of 35,200 (9.8%) over the year and 14.2% of all in employment –ESRI has warned that the "vastly changed" economic situation may impact on the attitude of Irish nationals to immigrants, giving rise to fears that they may be subjected to racist abuse

7 7 Unemployment rates of immigrants typically exceed those of natives so Ireland no different. But there was an acceleration in the rate of unemployment among immigrants for much of 2008, especially among accession state nationals

8 8 By looking at numbers on the Live Register relative to numbers in the labour force, we get a clearer picture of underlying trends. We see a faster rise in the rate of entry onto the Live Register for immigrants since early 2008, especially for accession state nationals.

9 9 Their experience…? ESRI Research into racial discrimination in recruitment Commissioned by the Equality Authority, found that Job applicants with identifiably non-Irish names are less than half as likely to be called for interview as those with typical Irish names. Compared with similar experiments carried out in other countries, the level of discrimination recorded for Ireland is high. Immigrants at Work Philip J. O'Connell and Frances McGinnity is the first systematic baseline study that examines labour market experiences of migrants in Ireland distinguished by ethnicity. key findings of the report is that migrants to Ireland fare less well than Irish nationals in the Irish labour market across a range of dimensions - in terms of unemployment levels, of access to privileged occupations in the occupational structure, and of experiences of discrimination at work and in looking for work. Within this finding the report also highlights specific and higher levels of disadvantage for Black people. English language skills are also identified in the report as an important factor in determining the quality of the migrants' experience.

10 10 Their experience…? Equality Authority Annual Report 2008 –Race was the second highest category (after age) of casefiles at 70 –Cases: Mr Patrick Maphoso v Chubb Ireland Ltd Mr Maphoso brought a claim of discrimination against his employer Chubb Ireland to the Equality Tribunal in 2007. The company did not contest or attend the Tribunal Hearing. The Tribunal awarded mr Maphoso €8,000 in compensation in a decision dated 15th November 2007 (DEC-E2007-067). When the respondent failed to pay the award mr Maphoso contacted the Equality Authority. Circuit Court proceedings were issued by the Equality Authority on behalf of mr Maphoso to enforce the Tribunal’s decision. The complaint has now been successfully resolved with full payment of the award of €8,000 and a further payment of €500 interest. A Complainant v A Recruitment Company The complainant applied for a position through the recruitment company but her application was not progressed to a proper interview. The complainant was initially singled out as a non- Irish national and dealt with differently to the Irish applicants. The applicant subsequently received a telephone call from the recruitment agency which lasted a couple of minutes. She was not offered an interview for the position for which she applied. She was subsequently informed in the company’s response to her complaint that her English was not considered of a sufficient standard to progress her application further. The applicant did not accept this reason as she had previously worked as an interpreter for a number of State services. Following the lodging of a submission by the Equality Authority on behalf of the complainant, an offer was made by the solicitors for the recruitment company. The matter was settled for a substantial sum.

11 11 Their experience…? Equality Tribunal 2008 Report Employment Equality: Highlights 28% increase in Employment Equality claims in 2008 100% increase in claims on the age ground 17% increase in claims on the race ground

12 12 What we know… On earnings, Barrett and McCarthy (2007) showed an immigrant earnings disadvantage of 18% relative to comparable natives, on average But no disadvantage for immigrants from English-speaking countries For accession state nationals, the disadvantage was 45%

13 13 NERA inspections 2008 Sector Agriculture Catering Retail Grocery Hotels Contract Cleaning Security Construction Electrical REA Breaches 37% 73% 64% 78% 85% 53% 62% 47% Arrears €45,819 €682,239 €136,046 €329,684 €284,068 €340,610 €710,475 €313,351

14 14 Uncovering the real story Migrant workers employed as restaurant workers have been the largest group reporting workplace exploitation (MRCI) 53% earned less than the minimum hourly wage 45% worked 9 or more hours per day 44% did not get rest breaks 85% did not receive extra pay for Sunday work 85% did not receive overtime pay 48% did not receive bank holiday pay 34% did not receive their annual leave entitlements 51% did not receive a pay slip 84% did not receive a contract or terms of employment 89% stated that their employment rights are not displayed at work 15% reported an injury at work

15 15 Some Parting Shots…. NCCRI –continue to have clear and publicly articulated focus on addressing racism and promoting interculturalism in all relevant government policies and initiatives ensuring that this focus is not reduced to only its important component of securing integration of third country migrants; –ensure that initiatives on racism and interculturalism involve all majority and minority populations who are part of Ireland now or who like Travellers have been part of Ireland for a long time; –continue to support high quality training and education on racism awareness and ensure that such training is maintained as part of the continuous development of all state and local officials; –continue to support independent monitoring and reporting of racist incidents; –strive to offer support and resources to anti-racism organisations community and minority groups as an essential part of supporting the most vulnerable; –ensure the full and active participation of minorities including Travellers and migrants in the development and review of all policies and initiatives aimed at them; –ensure that the gender dimension of racism and associated multiple forms of discrimination are named and addressed. –Continue to promote partnership and cooperation in initiatives to address racism and promote interculturalism on a North/South basis.

16 16 Parting Shots…. NPAR Chairperson, Lucy Gaffney, January 2009 –an absolute disaster if our work over the last four years is not carried forward. –NPAR, however, was only meant to be a beginning, and not an end in itself. –For that reason, I am extremely concerned that in the midst of an economic crisis afflicting this country on a scale few of us anticipated when NPAR was established with its four year remit, organisations working in the area of integration and interculturalism are the first victims of Government cutbacks. –A decision has clearly been made that we can no longer afford to confront the potential for racism, precisely at the time when many immigrants living in Ireland are at their most vulnerable. –We should be investing in schemes and projects to ensure that the type of social problems and tensions between immigrants and the local population that have afflicted other European countries with large numbers of foreign nationals do not emerge in Ireland. This is especially necessary during times of economic downturn when such tensions have a tendency to emerge. –welcome that the Office of the Minister for Integration has been established to drive forward integration policy. But by creating a ministry that does not have a seat at Cabinet is the Government in danger of limiting the potential for racism to be addressed at the highest level of decision-making in Ireland? –put anti-racism, interculturalism and integration at the heart of national policy and Irish public life, rather than allow them become the sole concern of one section of a Government Department or the sole responsibility of a Junior Minister. –For that reason, the development of a new national action plan should be considered by the Taoiseach

17 17 Some EU developments Conditions for free movement: –more protection of workers and fair competition –Resolution adopted by the Steering Committee of the ETUC, Brussels, 28 April 2009 –having regard in particular to the rise of protectionism, and the potential increase in nationalism and xenophobia, in the context of the economic and financial crisis, and the recent judgments of the European Court of Justice. –The EU needs a rigorous commitment from its Member States to fully implement the free movement of workers provisions of the Treaty across the EU, based on equal treatment and nondiscrimination of workers and companies in the place where the work is done (the host country principle).

18 18 ETUC Proposals on Posting Directive “to strengthen it and better achieve its aims of guaranteeing fair competition and the respect for workers’ rights”. –The objectives of the Posting Directive, i.e. respecting the rights of workers and ensuring a climate of fair competition must be more clearly laid down in the body of the Directive. –Free movement of workers should be covered by the Treaty provisions written for this purpose, i.e. especially Article 39 with its strong equal treatment requirement based on the host country principle. –Member States and social partners must be allowed to use effective monitoring and enforcement mechanisms –Define what is or is not ‘transnational provision of services’, to prevent companies to manipulate applicable law and standards by the use of letterbox-companies. –The minimum character of the Posting Directive must be restored, i.e. the notion that the Directive provides‘ minimum-protection’ (the core of rights that must be applied), which does not prevent legal or collectively agreed standards to provide the workers concerned with more favourable conditions (the standards that can be applied), as long as equal treatment and non-discrimination of local and foreign companies is ensured. –Very restrictive interpretation of the notion of ‘public policy provisions’ must be revised, to include social objectives and the protection of workers;

19 19 ETUC Proposals ctd.. –Member States in their role of public authorities contracting out public works (public procurement) should be allowed via social clauses to demand observance of locally applicable collective wages and working conditions by any company, local or foreign, tendering for the contract; –The Directive should more clearly respect the different industrial relations models in Member States as well as the instrument of collective bargaining as a flexible and dynamic process: “this Directive may not be interpreted so as affecting in any way the right of trade unions to take collective action and to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective agreements in order to improve the living and working conditions of workers”). –In addition, less rigid criteria should be developed to judge if a collective agreement can be upheld vis-à-vis a foreign service provider, for instance in situations in which the vast majority of local companies is in practice bound by the collective agreement. –An ETUC expert group of trade union experts and academics is currently working on the legal and technical aspects of these proposals, and it is the intention to put a memorandum with proposals and recommendations before the ETUC Executive Committee later this year.

20 20 Equal Treatment Directives –ERA Complaint : Ireland is in breach of EU Equality Directives. ERA members contend that the Irish Government has used the cover of financial cutbacks in public expenditure to mount a targeted attack on Irish Equality and human rights institutions. The cuts to the bodies coupled with the accelerated decentralisation programme of the Equality Authority have crucially undermined the ability of the Equality Authority to function as a designated national body under EU equality Directives on race and gender, rendering it unable to effectively fulfill its prescribed functions.

21 21 Joint ETUC and Social Platform Declaration to Swedish Presidency 1. Adopt the draft Directive on non-discrimination outside employment 2. Address remaining gender gaps and ensure gender mainstreaming, 3. Mainstream equality in all EU policies 4. Invest in strong social policies and public services that support equality, and develop proactive migration and integration policies 5 Work in partnership with trade unions and civil society organisations

22 22 Union membership Unions do not collect data by nationality – we are trying... Unions produce information in range of languages Unions have taken on staff from new communities Unions build strategic links with NGOs

23 23 Key Issues for trade unions Organising and Recruitment Growth of insecure employment EU Commission desire to push country of origin principle Deficiencies in Posted Worker Directive Potential for poverty and social exclusion for these new communities Stepping into the vacuum….

24 24 Conclusions “National recovery should not be achieved at the expense of dismantling hard-won protections for the rights of the vulnerable and weakest in our society or institutions to combat discrimination (including racism) and promote equality and human rights. Any Plan for National Recovery should include a strong, effective, independent and adequately resourced equality and human- rights infrastructure so that we can emerge from this crisis with a better, fairer society that respects and protects the dignity of all its members”.

25 25 Thank you for listening

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