Workplace Racism in Ireland
The trade union view from the Republic of
Ireland
David Joyce
1
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
2
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…
3
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.
4
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?
5
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
6
Unemployment rates
12.0%
10.0%
8.0%
6.0%
4.0%
2.0%
0.0%
Q3
2004
Q1
2005
Q3
2005
Q1
2006
Q3
2006
Irish
non-Irish
Q1
2007
Q3
2007
Q1
2008
Q3
2008
Accession
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
7
Number on Live Register as % in Labour Force
18.0%
16.0%
14.0%
12.0%
10.0%
8.0%
6.0%
4.0%
2.0%
Irish nationals
Non-Irish nationals
10
20
08
M
06
20
08
M
02
20
08
M
10
20
07
M
06
20
07
M
02
20
07
M
10
20
06
M
06
20
06
M
02
20
06
M
10
20
05
M
06
20
05
M
02
20
05
M
10
20
04
M
20
04
M
06
0.0%
Accession states EU15 to EU27
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.
8
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.
9
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 nonIrish 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.
10
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
11
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%
12
NERA inspections 2008
Sector
Breaches
Arrears
Agriculture
Catering
37%
73%
64%
78%
85%
53%
62%
47%
€45,819
€682,239
€136,046
€329,684
€284,068
€340,610
€710,475
€313,351
Retail Grocery
Hotels
Contract Cleaning
Security
Construction
Electrical REA
13
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
14
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.
15
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
16
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).
17
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;
18
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.
19
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.
20
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
21
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
22
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….
23
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 humanrights infrastructure so that we can emerge from
this crisis with a better, fairer society that
respects and protects the dignity of all its
members”.
24
Thank you
for
listening
[email protected]
www.ictu.ie/equality/race.html
25
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