Irish Workers Worth Double Their Wages Says Employers' Study


IRISH WORKERS are undervalued by 50% according to an international study published earlier this year. By comparing wages and productivity in 28 different types of job throughout all 15 European Union countries it found only Portuguese workers did more and received less.

The study, called 'The State of Europe - Pay Analyses for 15 EU Member States', was carried out by the British based Personnel Policy Research Unit, which is linked to the Federation of European Employers. This Federation represents some of the continent's largest transnational employers.

Their conclusions were reached by calculating gross domestic product per person and taking into account each country's cost of living, corporate profits, reinvestment rates, productivity, and social security costs.

PPRU's director, Robin Chater, commented "it cannot escape the notice of trade unions in the four lowest paying EU states that their members would command substantially higher earnings if their factories and offices happened to be located in Malmo or Salzburg".

Needless to say, most of our overpaid union leaders will be too busy trying to convince us to accept yet another 'social partnership' deal with low pay rises and no strikes. We will be offered a con trick that sets off tax cuts (for the millionaire as well as the PAYE worker) against low pay increases.

If the total tax take is cut there will be less cash for health, education and social housing. Which means our slightly improved wages get spent on VHI/BUPA, 'voluntary' donations to the school, and spiralling house prices and rents.

Joe King

This article is from Workers Solidarity No 58 published in Oct 1999