Give Retired Workers A Voice

People Before Profit- Solidarity call for all TDs to support representation Bill to give retired workers greater rights

At a media conference this morning on the Dáil plinth, People Before Profit and Solidarity called for all TDs in the Dáil to support the Industrial Relations (Provisions in Respect of Pension Entitlements of Retired Workers) Bill which would give retired workers greater rights to be consulted ahead of changes to their pensions and to take cases to the WRC.

Almost 500,000 retired workers are in pension schemes that have faced cuts, changes and attacks over the last decade. For many, their pensions are their only income, others depend on them to supplement the state pension. But once workers leave their workplace, they find they have little influence or say over what happens to their occupational scheme.

Retired workers can’t access the WRC and often have limited rights to object to changes that will hit their income.

Bríd Smith TD said: “There is a war on workers’ rights and on the very idea of a decent pension upon retirement. Retired workers have suffered a lot over the last decade. While this Bill will not stop future attacks in pension schemes, it would lay down a marker and insist on the right to consultation and give retired workers a voice.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “Young workers have faced a huge increase in precarious working and poorer conditions in their jobs and many are excluded from pension schemes. The wider issue is not just about retired workers rights, but about the rights of all workers to decent pensions, the right to retire at 65 and to have a voice when decisions are made about their incomes and pensions.”

Mick Barry TD said: “ESB pensioners have not had an increase in their pensions in 11 years. RTÉ pensioners have not had an increase in their pensions in 13 years. It is wrong that these decisions are being made over the heads of retired workers. Pensioners built this country into what it is today, and they must have a real say in their own futures.”

Gino Kenny TD said: “Retired workers are saying ‘nothing about us without us.’The idea that profound changes can happen to their pension schemes- schemes to which many have contributed for decades of their lives- is fundamentally unjust and must be addressed. I’m asking the Government parties and all TDs to support this Bill. Many of these workers have campaigned for decades on this, they won’t tolerate any further delays.”