Protest being held against wage cuts in fast-food sector

A protest is being held outside Supermacs in Dublin today organised by the Restaurant Workers Action Group

It is over plans to reduce the pay of minimum-wage workers at the restaurant, which is part of the Quick Service Food Alliance (QSFA) industry group.

The QSFA are taking a High Court constitutional challenge to the rights of the Catering Joint Labour Committee and the Labour Court to effectively set minimum rates of pay and employment conditions for workers in the catering industry.

The Restaurant Workers Action Group, established by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), said the legal challenge is unfairly targeting restaurant employees.

"We want to them to end their attack on wages and protections for restaurant workers," said MRCI director Siobhán O’Donoghue.

"We are also calling on the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan to take immediate action to defend the wages of the lowest-paid workers from future attacks and cuts."

A spokesperson for Supermacs said: “We utterly reject any comments made by this group.

The QFSA said in a statement "This case is not about lowering conditions of employment but challenging the method by which those rates and conditions are set, which is unfair, arbitrary, and unconstitutional in the present format.”

"Our members' employees come from many different countries, and they would like to emphasise their equal and fair treatment of all employees and commitment to this end.

"The QSFA case challenges the current method of setting minimum rates of pay. These rates are then applied to all employees in the catering sector, not specifically to migrant workers."

"Our members are committed to fair pay and conditions for all workers but are also committed to fairness and transparency in how minimum rates and conditions are set which ultimately keeps businesses viable and thereby protects jobs," the statement concluded.

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