Keelings specialises in the exploitation of workers and pulls in a profit of €300 million a year. They have brought in 200 Bulgarian workers for the sole purpose of paying extremely low wages.
Their real motives were revealed when they applied to Fingal Council to create temporary accommodation units. They claimed these would best delivered through ‘the provision of mobile home, portacabin or other similar type accommodation’. This ‘purpose-built accommodation’ was to provide a maximum 25-bed space unit”.
Like many growers around the world, they have been recruiting seasonal labour. However, with Covid-19 they ran into a problem with the lockdown.
There seems little doubt but the rules on social distancing on travel were breached to facilitate the company.
Keelings claim that that those who arrived will be subject to a 14 day ‘restricted movement rule’. But the question is: will the workers be paid fully during this period and will they be entitled to stay off work
The Health and Safety Authority should be called in now to ensure that the workers are able to do social distancing in their accommodation. Keelings should be forced to provide adequate accommodation for these workers during the crisis.
People Before Profit want all workers – Bulgarian, Irish or any other nationality – to be paid proper wages. These are essential workers – and should be paid a minimum of €15 an hour.
Migrant and Irish workers should unite in a fighting trade union. We did it before during an Irish Ferries dispute and with the Gama workers. That’s why we say: PAY ALL YOUR WORKERS PROPER WAGES.
Join People Before Profit: www.pbp.ie/join
Pictured at the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend, Leopardstown was, Louise Kennedy, Joe Keeling, Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine Mr. Simon Coveney TD and Victoria Smurfit