People Before Profit Cllrs Shaun Harkin and Eamonn McCann are calling for the Derry and Strabane Council to support public and private workers backdated holiday pay claims following court ruling.
Cllr Shaun Harkin said,
“We have met with trade unions and with groups of workers in the public and private sector to discuss backdated holiday pay claims following the recent court of appeal ruling.
People Before Profit fully support the right of every worker in the public and private sector to claim the holiday back pay they are entitled to based on their actual hours worked. The court ruled overtime must be included in holiday pay. As far as we are concerned, this is money earned that should be paid immediately. We have been encouraging workers to submit their holiday back pay claims individually and collectively.
We are calling on the Council to give its encouragement to all workers to claim the holiday pay they’re owed and to oppose any caps being placed on the number of years that can be claimed for.
When the initial court ruling was declared there was an attempt to scaremonger here about the implications if workers claimed backdated holiday pay. We were told it would bankrupt the state and employers. Some political leaders were running about asking how this would impact ‘budgets’ rather than focusing on the issue of justice and workers rights. All of this was meant to discourage workers from submitting their claims. This is disgraceful.
The big parties in Stormont voted to cut taxes on wealthy corporations – and now we’re told these same corporations can’t afford to pay workers what they’re owed. Stormont wasted hundreds of millions on RHI and other rackets – and now we’re being told there’s no money to pay workers what their owed. No one should buy this.
Many workers here have endured pay cuts and pay freezes for the last decade – many are trapped in poverty wages and increasing numbers are using food banks. Supporting holiday payback claims will not undo the damage inflicted on working class communities but at least workers will receive what they have already earned.
If this money isn’t paid in full people will have every right to take action.”