A HIGH percentage of hoteliers in Ireland's south-east are not paying young workers their statutory wage, a union official has claimed.
"They are not abiding by the Joint Labour Council (JLC) agreement. They are paying the correct hourly rate but then nibbling around the edges," says Tony Ayton, industrial officer in the Services, Industrial, Professional & Technical Union.
A two-tier system is in operation in places, he said. "The core staff are treated well with no statutory breaches. But part-timers are being worked beyond midnight without being paid the statutory extra 20% or double pay for Sunday work."
The JLC does not allow for any differential among workers, says Ayton. The JLC is composed of representatives of the unions, employers, and Government. Its recommendations on rates and conditions are legally binding.
Some hoteliers are abiding by the JLC agreement, but others are flouting the law, says Ayton.
He added: "We are talking about the £1- or £1.50-an-hour merchants, the sort who say: ‘there's the door if you don't like it'. There are more of them about than you would like to think."