16 July 2021
By Tom Collins
“…the number of inspectors in Cork is almost half of what is needed…”
Sinn Fein TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, has today called on the government to explain how WRC Inspectors were left with no manager for the duration of the pandemic.
His comments come in response to a PQ received by the Deputy showing that in March 2020, there were 5 WRC inspectors employed in Cork with the managers position vacant. In July 2021, there are still 5 inspectors employed and the position remains vacant.
Deputy Gould said:
“During a time when the WRC found 127 breaches of employment law, the staff were working without a manager and with 3 open vacancies.
“Considering the absolutely vital role the WRC has played in keeping workers safe throughout this pandemic, the failure to employ a manager or additional staff is scandalous.
“While workers in high-risk industries, such as meat factories, relied on WRC Inspectors to ensure their safety, the government completely failed to protect the Inspectors.
“The reality is that the number of inspectors in Cork is almost half of what is needed. In 2006, a commitment was given to employ 90 inspectors across the state. Where are the additional inspectors? They certainly don’t appear to be in Cork.
“I want to send my gratitude to the inspectors in Cork who have worked through this difficult pandemic. Workers in this state are better protected when workers rights are a priority. The government’s failure to fully resource the WRC in Cork shows where their priorities lie.
“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly has been calling for a full cohort of inspectors. This government cannot continue to neglect worker’s rights.”