Article from the Sept 2004 edition, Socialist Voice


Over the past few years, sweatshop bosses have made a fortune off the backs of young workers. While people like Michael O'Leary, Tony O'Reilly and Michael Smurfit have made millions, the wages and living conditions of young people remain dreadful.

The national minimum wage is a legalisation of low pay and inequality. Most young people in Ireland are not even entitled to the paltry current minimum wage of 7 euro an hour. For example, the Leisureplex (in Dublin) deliberately employs under 16s so it can legally pay them the slave wage of 4.90 euro an hour.

The bosses have had it easy for too long - we need to fight back now! Young workers make massive profits for their bosses, but only get a fraction back in crap wages. But if we stand together and get organised, we can win wage increases.

Socialist Youth plans to take on these low pay employers. We will be publicising some of the worst offenders, with the aim of shaming them into increasing their wages. But because most of these employers are absolutely shameless about the exploitation, if we want results we'll have to do more!

We want to campaign alongside young workers for a decent wage in your workplace. If you are ripped off at work, don't just sit back and take it - fight back! Contact the number below and discuss what we can do to put pressure on your boss and win a decent wage. We want to launch a militant campaign of pickets, demonstrations and occupations - whatever it takes to really put pressure on the employers and force a wage increase!

Some of Irelands lowest earners
Young workers in Dublin are paid:
Londis 4.81 an hour
Eddie Rockets 5.30 an hour
McDonalds 5.51 an hour

Some of Irelands top earners
Sir Tony O'Reilly 45 million
Larry Goodman 24 million
Michael Smurfit 11.4 million
(The above figures are income for 2003)
We demand:
X 10 euro an hour minimum wage for all now

X A campaign to unionise all young and immigrant workers

X Unemployed young people should be eligible for unemployment benefit from the age of sixteen

X 35 Hour week without loss of pay

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