Thursday, 29 January 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
38. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment further to the press release of the Minister of State at her Department on 3 December 2008, her Department’s efforts to support the forum established; the meetings of the forum which have taken place; if she is satisfied with the progress of the forum to date; the objectives that she hopes that the forum will achieve; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2800/09]
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Billy Kelleher): A Forum which consists of representatives of IBEC and the Irish Hotels Federation, on behalf of employers in the industry, and SIPTU was established in December 2008. The principle objective of the Forum is to contribute to the development of a sustainable industry providing high quality employment. I understand that the Forum held its first meeting on the 4th of December, 2008.
I was greatly encouraged by the decision to establish the Forum. Together with the good work being done on the amalgamation of the two Catering Joint labour Committees, I saw it as a timely initiative by representatives of employers and trade unions in the hospitality sector to tackle current competitiveness challenges facing that sector and to contribute to the development of a sustainable industry providing high quality employment. I understand that, while the Forum would have regard to a wide range of employment and industrial relations issues arising from the current challenges facing the hotels sector, priority attention would be given to the current difficulties in the sector as a result of the operation of the JLC system, with particular reference to the issue of the Sunday Premium.
The decision to establish the Forum was made by the employer and worker representatives in the sector and the Forum’s role and functions are a matter for agreement between those bodies. While I welcome the initiative of the Social Partners in establishing this Forum, I have no function with regard to its operation.
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