Thursday, 17 March 2011

Supermacs, Burger King and Eddie Rockets attempt to cut wages through Constitution

There was a protest outside Supermacs, O'Connell Street,  yesterday against an attempt by employers' umbrella group, the Quick Service Food Alliance, to have a wage-setting mechanism declared "unconstitutional".

The employers' group, which represents Irish fast food outlets Supermacs and Eddie Rockets, along with US giant Burger King, is questioning the right of the Catering Joint Labour Committee to safeguard a basic minimum rate of pay for those who work in the industry.

I took a leaflet from one of the protesters which you can read, or download, below.   It claims that all of these companies have seen profit increases, yet they want to drive down the wages of those who work for them. 

The Constitution has, in the past, been invoked and interpreted through the courts to back up the interests of the rich and powerful - be they landlords, judges, bankers or politicians.  

Protected tenancies, for instance, were done away after a landlord by the name of Madigan took a case in 1980.  More recently, overpaid judges hid behind the Constitution when asked to take a pay cut.   Bankers' bonuses had the same protection, we were told.   Cutting the minimum wage, of course, was not "unconstitutional".  

No doubt greedy, exploitative employers took heart when Fianna Fail - the Republican Party - cut the minimum wage by one Euro an hour in its last days of power.   They made it open season on poorly paid workers with one final two-fingered salute.  What a "republic" we live in. 

If the courts find in favour of the shysters from the Quick Service Food Alliance, it really is time to scrap de Valera and MacQuaid's 1937 Constitution through means of a constitutional review, and replace it with one which protects the interests of its citizens rather than privileged interest groups.

If people cannot find the wherewithal to question what is most rotten about this country in crisis times such as these, they never will. 

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Anonymous said...

Keep the People Poor, Ignorant and Powerless

You have summed it all up in your final paragraph insofar that clarify that the Irish Constitution was skewed from the beginning in favour of the rich and powerful. This distorted document allowed the pernicious “Knights of Saint Columbanus” AKA (Schutzstaffel or (SS) an insidious fulminating disease to become embedded in every aspect of Irish life where there is a potential for corruption and where money could be purloined from the people. History shows us that it always has been Roman Catholic Church’s dogma to keep the people poor, ignorant and powerless, so as to keep them under control.

Bunreacht na hÉireann (the Irish constitution) a malicious fascist document that was “ghost written’ by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and The Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, has been an inherent evil in Ireland since the formation of The Irish Free State and Irish Republic. It is just as evil today as it was at it’s inception, because it is based on power wealth and privilege for the few. The banking crisis has taught us that a few people own and control everything, and the majority of the people own nothing and have nothing.

The Irish people must insist that Bunreacht na hÉireann be changed completely with immediate effect so that the power of the Vatican’s (Schutzstaffel or (SS): “The Order of the Knights of Saint Columbanus” is cleared out of every aspect of Irish corruption (Local and National party politics, The Dail, RTE, National Universities, Health Service, Banking and Trade Union institutions. Until Ireland and the Irish are completely free from all Right Wing, Fascist religious domination, the people will continue to think like and be like serfs

Anonymous said...

"No doubt greedy, exploitative employers took heart when Fianna Fail - the Republican Party - cut the minimum wage by one Euro an hour in its last days of power".

If anyone thinks that Fianna Fail are finished, then they are out of touch with Irish Politics. It will suit Fianna Fail to appear quiescent, as they plan for a comeback, and they will come back with a new dynamic and formidable leader and a with wrath and vengeance.

Therefore, if the people want change and social justice, they best act now. Otherwise, it's back to The Shithouse for the poor and needy for a bloody long time.

Anonymous said...

Who are The Employers' Group, which represents Irish fast food outlets? Let them be identified and exposed as Cheating, Mean Rotten scoundrels. Who are they?

anna said...

hear, hear, GM man- bang on target, as usual. It's not enough that many of our laws tax laws, etcd, favour the rich- many other extra legal wasy are found to 'help' the rich.
For instaance- the Revenue service is deliberately short of enforcement staff so that rich people cna get away with monstrous and flagrant braking of tax laws- and yes another ahndy trick - invoking the constitution to further extend the 'rights' of the rich.
I DID actuallt study and pass Irish consitutional law- and i am amzed at the calims made for the constitution- that judge's pay can't be lowered for insrtance- but no probs lowering that of many other public service workers- how come my pay was not protected??AND of course these crooks make out that these 'constitutional rights' of theirs belong to all citizens- they're only being true patriots here!!! Yes it make sme sigk- i must get my constitution out and re- read it.

Anonymous said...

It is astounding that this blog that deals with Fianna Fail and employers bare faced theft of workers wages has not attracted more comments. Maybe no one cares.

The Gombeen Man said...

True Anon. I think the problem is that the working poor don't have a lobby group. Maybe some don't even have internet connections? Whatever, their welfare does not seem to be a priority for those unaffected.

Here is the employers' group. They've a picture of an improbably slim woman munching one of their greaseburgers. Quick Service Food Alliance

Yes Anna. It always comes down in favour of those who can afford to buy its interpretation. Let me know how you find anything worthwhile during your perusal.

Anonymous said...

Laim smullen
Actually It as slightly coverage than is the generally the case, but that is ONLY slightly
Here it is:

Dakota said...

That's the problem, unfortunately. The "IRISH REPUBLIC" is a myth. All republics are built and repy upon the support of the people, of that republic. This republic is rotten to its very core. That has NOT changed and I presume never will (if you paper over cracks it doesn't make them go away). The people don't care and it won't get better until there is a semblance of basic decency at every layer of the cake. It's almost as important to address the problems of this country from the bottom up as from the top down.
The bottom line is, there is no banking industry (one of the basic building blocks of any capitalist economy) in this country (some could argue there never was), the people are walking around in a daze and meanwhile despite the satrospheric debt, the insane bonus culture, etc, there is the unrealistic belief that OIRELAND was really a grand COUNTRY afterall. Why? Well sure isn't the U.S pres and Queen visiting these illustrious shores?
Will the unreality ever end? Basic facts are, the transport, water, every system you care to mention, are rubbish. Ney, pathetic. The Irish Republic was a creation of the Catholic Church, agrarian lobbing and the lamenting of revivalist literature (mostly based on MYTH). The weather is cold and damp and the humble Irish worker will and always will be screwed. Paying for the wrongs of individuals who couldn't walk the dog with out a set of instructions. Why? Well it completes the circle.

BULLION Boy said...

"The Fresh Food Quick Service Food Sector" Sounds great doesn't it but why does the the term "Whited Sepulchre" spring to my mind. There's one thing (well there's a few really but this isn't the right place) that I'm proud of in life - NEVER eaten a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken EVER. There's rumours that there's a country in Europe where only the really wealthy are allowed to visit. It's on no maps and when you hit the required billions you get an invite. There'd be Bono and Gates and Ahern et al checked in to their palatial suites and sucking down Chateau lafite Rothschild at the top tables while waiting for the proprieters of Ireland's Greasy Spoon chains to arrive with their shiny new membership cards.
Surely now that Ghaddaffi has called his "cease fire" all those bombs under the wings of those British Typhoons intended for him could now be dropped there instead on their way home. I've got the GPS coords - don't ask. PB

Ella said...

@GM, interesting article.
@Laim, thanks for that left review link, that does make an interesting read. "Irish wages in the hospitality sector are -16.1 percent below the EU-15 average". These 3 employers are turning a profit and want to pay their staff even less than they are already paid. Let's hope the court finds against the Quick Food Service Alliance.

Anonymous said...

Laim smullen

Here more news about the working poor, this one involving a case a man
Being arrested for a part of a floating picket and facing a fine of £250000.

Anonymous said...

Premeditated Theft and Barefaced Dishonesty

Some governments make mistakes insofar that they miscalculate or the economic climate suddenly changes. But this was not the case in Ireland during the Celtic Tiger epoch. The money and grants awarded by the EC were siphoned away and knowingly embezzled by a few hundred people, probably no more than 500.

In the United States, The Watergate Scandal was exposed by The Washington Post. In the UK the MP expenses was exposed by The Daily Telegraph. But in Ireland there is no “Investigative Journalism”. by the press (controlled by the state) or RTE (owned by the state)

Please let there be an Irish: “Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein” to expose these embezzlers, money launderers and tax evaders.

Look at all the books recently written that prove the there was premeditated theft and blatant barefaced dishonesty by a Catholic Criminal Government.

Ella said...

@Laim, what a country, somebody who pickets faces a massive fine. Bankers with the morals of alley cats get off scot free, in fact they don't get off for free, they get big payoffs funded by the tax payer, think Fingleton.

anna said...

PS- yes did check constitution: in the 2 sections on Judges and President there IS in fact a line stating their pay could not be cut(!!!!)- there were several versions of constitution-our worthy judges probably were aware of 1930's/ 40's austerity( memorieos of 1920's crash etc) and just wanted to make damn sure that if anyone else in the country had to suffer it wasn't going to be them- very much sets the tone for what a bunch of greedy toads our legal profession became - don't forget All the corruption in our country could not have been assisted without them.
And the President? Over 2 yrs ago when current crisis began , she cut her Own pay- she said she was aware it was being paid into an account ( per constitution) but she Simply Did not have to draw it all. I also read of her travelling on ordinary Aer Lingus jets- thanks Prez. Of course she said she hoped to set an example- fell on mostly deaf ears- took AGES to prize any pay off our TDs for Judges??? maybe 1 or 2 took a tiny token% cut. I find it illuminating the the Prez did not grow up down here.
ANYWAY there Are ( surprisingly ) some good things in constitution, eg right to join a trade union.
BUT anyone who thinks it a Glowing recital of all the new rights the Irish got after shaking off English tyranny- you can think again with this shameful stuff:My friends in UK civil service incidentally had their pay Frozen-a bit differnt to 100,000's of Irish public servants who had theirs well CUT. And Irish Judges pay is Constitutionally Protected, while Hugely Profitable fast food chains seek any ludicrous fiction thats allegedly in the Constitution to cut the pay of poorly paid workers .AND no constitutional protection AT ALL to protect min wage cut!!!How would our judges manage on 306 Euro week- the reduced minimum wage- (after those workers took a cut of 40 a week, from 346)?? I think this post Reveals a great Deal about this country- in fact this blatant protection for those who Really matter should be enough for the people to demand an over all rewrite- as in fact is what was proposed by Green and Labour Parties.