McCarthy demands full inquiry into alleged worker exploitation

Alliance Party Chief Whip Kieran McCarthy MLA has said people must be certain that workers in Northern Ireland are not being exploited, after official statistics indicated that hundreds of bosses had been caught paying illegally low wages.

Alderman McCarthy stated: “We in the Alliance Party have placed the economy as a central plank of the political process, to try to ensure a better deal for local businesses. However, this is greatly undermined by firms paying illegally low wages.

“A key part of the Republic of Ireland’s economic success was a fair deal for workers and a social contract with trade unions. We cannot hope to compete if people are not being paid the minimum wage.

“I find it totally unacceptable that statistics show over 600 local firms paying below the minimum wage. I see no reason why these firms should not be named and shamed.”

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