Republican News · Thursday 07 September 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Six die in site accidents

New 26-County Health and Safety Authority (HSA) figures have shown that six construction workers died on building sites in the first seven months of the year.

Last year, building workers held a series of work stoppages and protests at the lack of effective safety standards on 26-County building sites. This year's figures are a marginal improvement but are still wholly unacceptable.

Meanwhile HSA recommendations on improving safety regulations on building sites are still pending. Their report is due out this month but why, with workers still dying, is there not a greater hurry to make our sites safe?

23% wage rise for Ryanair boss

With interest rates still rising and inflation also increasing, many workers are worried that they could actually end the year worse off financially then they were last January.

One worker not so worried is Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary. His wages rose by over 23% to 452,849 in the 12 months to March 2000. O'Leary enjoyed a substantial bonus worth 44% of his basic salary. One wonders how many other Ryanair workers achieved bonuses of such a large percentage. The good news does not end there for Michael. His stake in the company was valued last week at 215 million.

O'Leary is not the only one earning a substantial income from Ryanair. Former EU Commissioner, Fianna Fail minister and TD Ray MacSharry is also a beneficiary. MacSharry earned directors fees of just over 75,000. Add this to the 100,000 he received from Eircom as a director last year and you have a very well paid retired politician. Don't forget that MacSharry also enjoys a hefty ministerial and TDs pension.

Eat the people

We have all heard and possibly used the term `eat the rich'. What about the rich eating us? A survey of dotcom chief executives found that up to 23% of them were prepared to eat human flesh if it was the only means of staying alive.

This is surprising because only 6% of chief executives of old economy companies could resign themselves to a similar course of action. It shows that things are clearly not getting better.

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