19th September 2008

Pay deal more than many export companies can afford

Mr Liam Shanahan, recently elected president of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) and Chief Executive of Shanahan Engineering, issued his first press statement today (Friday, 19.9.08) following the conclusion of the Pay Deal aspects of ‘Towards 2016’:

“The international Credit Crisis is adding greatly to the difficulties of many exporters at this time. The pay deal terms of ‘Towards 2016’ will have to be interpreted very flexibly to allow for those firms who are trapped in the credit crunch to deal with the issue. Many exporters may have to apply the inability to pay clause at the end of what is a very modest pay pause.”

On the issue of Agency workers, Mr Shanahan had this to say:

“Services exporters in particular must have the flexibility to recruit staff on a short-term basis in different countries where they trade. This is the nature of many internationally traded services. The wording of the Pay Deal in this area must not hamper the competitiveness of Irish companies in this sector if Irish services exports are to continue to grow – to do otherwise will encourage employers to move their service operations out of Ireland resulting in further job losses here – it’s as simple as that.”

Addressing public sector pay proposals in the concluded deal he said:

“Exporters welcome the more substantial pay pause in the public sector,”

but he went on to say:

“more cost cutting in public expenditure is essential. These savings must be passed on to productive industry as rapidly as possible to help restore cost competitiveness to our exporters of both goods and services.”

In conclusion Mr Shanahan stated:

“The full impact of the global credit crisis has not yet hit Irish exports, but it is undoubtedly on the way and all of us, employers, staff and government, prepare for a few lean years. We must all take the pain now. If this is done in a cost competitive collaborative way, we can all return to prosperous times in the following years.”

(ENDS)

For further information contact: Clair Price

IEA Marketing Manager
Ph: (01) 661-2182
Email:
clairprice@irishexporters.org

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