Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ibec on workers' absenteeism and that organisation's own part in our downfall

Once in a blue moon you might see a letter that is worth reading while flicking through Herald Metro on your way to work.  

I'm not joking, it's one of the few things I get to read these days between one thing and another. 

Maybe Ibec would consider setting up a special O'Stakhanov Award for model workers such as my good self, who work all the hours natural forces send - increased hours with pay cuts - and had only had one sick day in the past two years or so?   And all without complaint.  Actually, scrub that last bit.

But what about Ibec - the logical successor to William Martin Murphy's ideal of organised employers?   It  was whinging last week about the alleged high rate if absenteeism in Irish workplaces, and how it was crippling the country. 

Which brings us back to the Metro Herald and the following letter from Bruce.   I haven't been able to check any of the figures he quotes - too busy working Ibec, you see - but it looks as though he has put a bit of thought and research into what he has written. 

Duvet days?  I like the sound of that...

I see Ibec has been harping on about absenteeism costing employers €1.5 billion per annum with employees missing 5.98 days per year, stating the issue “affects the wider economy through loss of potential output and increases spending on social security.

Well that’s a bit rich, given that Ibec members made a run on the Irish banks last year - leading to the tune of €78 billion in corporate deposits leaving the country and leading to the bailout in November. To cover this, the Irish State borrowed €60 billion and used the State Pension Reserve to balance the rest.

Interest has been reduced on this amount to 3.5 per cent, which equals interest alone of €2.1bn to the taxpayer and €4 billion in capital repayment, meaning the actions of Ibec members in 2010 will cost the taxpayer €6.1 billion in 2012.

Add to that the €270 million interest the State would have earned on the Pension Reserve Fund, bringing the total close to €6.3 billion. Based on 1.8 million people still working in the Irish economy, that works out at approximately €3,500 per working person, per annum, in taxes to pay off the bailout.

Given that this organisation is calling for increases in spending on education and the cutting of pay to make us more competitive, while campaigning for the 12.5% corporation tax to remain the same (in other words, everyone else pays except them), they are hypocrites of the highest order.

We taxpayers should have 25 ‘duvet days’ to cost them as much as they are costing us.

Bruce (having a lie-in today)

Well, Ibec.  Pot?  Kettle?

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john said...

I worked in Germany for 12 years and sick pay was paid regardless and Germans did go sick. I also got 35 days holiday. Here you get 20 days or a few more if lucky we also get the least amount of bank holidays.And with added stress of the economic situation plus pay cuts etc; no wonder people are feeling sick!!

Soon to be unleashed upon the world said...

GM - thanks for your diligence in relation to your commentary on all things 'fucked up' in Ireland and by association (although not to the same ridiculous degree) the world. I've been gone from Ireland for many years now - 25 in fact and unlike the guys I used to labour with back in the seventies for Costains in London, the 'long distance kiddies' as we used to call them, whose dreams were to return with their savings and buy that farm in Leitrim - I've been spared the draw of the green umbilicus due in some part to my own occasional and disappointing returns to the old country and in more recent years AND to a large extent to you and the GM blog. Keep up the good work. A few posts ago there was a pic of cardinal so and so and I got myself into fits of laughter at his photo. A man in a funny hat and a friggin dress plus of course THE Crozier. That type of image was normal to me in my younger years but as a result of not having seen such sartorial ludicrosity (? - maybe it's a word but you know what i mean anyway) in the past quarter century it struck me as being as ridiculous as an applic form for membership of the flat earth society. If i were ever to encounter such a "get up" again, be he bishop or archfucking whatever - I would honestly have to laugh in his face and tell him to go home and change. Am about to head off for long journey with not too much Internet access and just in case you think I'm not there in actuality - I will be there in spirit. If you anywhere near paris from mid sep to mid oct - email me and you and Lady G will be more than welcome to weekend with us at our palatial appartement and break bread - not to mention vino. sans blaque. A bientot. PB

Dakota said...

"Well that’s a bit rich, given that Ibec members made a run on the Irish banks last year - leading to the tune of €78 billion in corporate deposits leaving the country and leading to the bailout in November."........GM just another agency spinning its own agenda.....
Speaking of which, I suppose you heard that the geniuses at Bord Gas have said "WE'RE WORTH IT...." There is a rumour, in the real world, that Ireland actually opted out of planet earth in 1916.....

The Gombeen Man said...

@ John. Yep... had a brief spell in Germany myself (near where they make Bitburg Beer... "Bitte ein Bit"). Another thing is that most Germans do not work Sundays. And I am sure their boss class can't be as useless and parasitic as ours - having to get bailed out all the time.

@ Ponyboy. Yeah... what about the fancy garb, eh? Mind you, you don't see priests and nuns strutting the streets now as you did a few years back - maybe they are incognito? Thanks for you kind words re the blog, and its utility as a warning beacon for Irish people who have been abroad a while!

You have a great break in France. Don't think I'll be hopping on the ferry in the next few months as the old driving hol was earlier this year, but if circumstances change you might have difficulty getting rid of me ;-)

@ Dakota. That's a good one, alright. And no wonder I say "gosh" (or something like that) every time I get a "gais" bill. Breathtaking stuff. Are these people in a bubble?

john said...

That is true,GM, Sunday in Germany which in most part is not religous is termed a family day in which the idea is for familes to spend some time together. Interesting you mention Bitburg, in 1985 Regan went war cemetary there,A decision was made by the Reagan team not to include a visit to a concentration camp, as had been previously suggested by Helmut Kohl.President Reagan said he didn't want to risk "reawakening the passions of the time" or offend his hosts by visiting a concentration camp.Reporters soon discovered that no American servicemen were in the cemetery (in fact, the remains of all U.S. soldiers had long since been removed from German soil) and that Waffen-SS graves were located there. The visit went ahead!! Reagan claimed to be Irish??

anna said...

Excellent letter by Bruce- even in these times when Irish people are better educated, it is easy to let these Glaring Facts of the greed of the super rich 1% over us serfs pass us by....and it was So easy to hood wink undereducated Irish people in Days of William Murphy Martin.
Sick days? yes - as social capital ( caring for others) was never much promoted in this country you Will get woeful malingerers who skive off- no thought of co-workers or cost to employers etc.
But strains on Irish families are huge- thank God I don't have to spend hours looking after old & sick relatives/ children- with minimal help from State you understand with childcare cost/ cost of respite services/ home helps wonder so many decent hard working people are exhausted.
However I DID suffer from 'commuteritis': I coud not buy a dear house here,in Dublin. so in 2006 I bought a cheaper house in NI, and commuted to Dublin 3 yrs:
This disease, commuteritis did NOT exist prior to 1995- then suddenly became an epidemic, brought to you by Fianna Fail, the party that encouraged greedy scum to unjustly enrich themselves by making just owning a home near to your work well beyond the financial/ geographical reach of their fellow citizens.
At the end of 2008 I virtually collapsed, after having excellent health all my life.2008 was my worst yr Ever in 30 yrs working for sick leave- I must have been off a total of 5-6 weeks- after rarely having to take days , let alone Weeks off before. Had the sense to rent out the house and return to Dublin- I knew I could not have lasted another week.Yet unfortunate wretches Still make killer commutes, as they cannot sell/ rent out their houses.- the NI town I have my house in didn't get a glut of ghost estates built in it, therefore it is easy for me to find tenants.
And many unfortunates come home after a killer commute to care for old relatives/ young children...etc
IF IBEC Ever issues a statement that shows they do not regard ordinary workers/ their fellow citizens as cash cows/ serfs please let me know...

The Gombeen Man said...

@ John. Ronny Ray paying his respects to his fellow right-wingers, eh?

@ Anna. I remember during the height of the madness there were people buying out in Portarlington. Jasus - mad stuff. In late 80s London, during their boom, they were flogging "commuter" homes in Doncaster! I kid you not. Mind you, at least they had a train service there, but I am sure the economy of the house price was soon negated by the "commute" - Doncaster is up the north of England.