Ahern's double standard on wages
Bertie Ahern has been taking almost every public opportunity possible lately to attack workers who are looking for wage increases he deems to be outside the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
However, one or two examples of increases outside the terms of partnership agreements seem to have slipped the attention of the Dublin government leader.
Take the eight directors of Irish Life and Permanent. They took home a combined wage packet of £2 million in 1999. This was an increase of 12% on 1998 and far outside the terms of the Partnership 2000 agreement. The group's chief executive, David Went, got a 20% wage rise. The former chief executive of Irish Permanent and now chairperson designate of the newly merged Life and Permanent, Roy Douglas, got a 25% increase in the year, while group finance director Peter Fitzpatrick got an increase of 18% in his wages.
Maybe it is because these workers didn't have to threaten industrial action to get their wage increases that Bertie Ahern didn't criticise them. No industrial arbitration needed here; being the effective bosses the directors just awarded themselves the increases they thought they deserved. No matter what, there is an obvious double standard at work here.
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