Labour Blog

Blog Archive | April 2017

Tackling the casualisation of work and the gig economy

Posted on April 10, 2017

Too many people work without any knowledge of how much, if any, work they will have the following week. People need security and stability in their working lives.

There is a profound difference between flexible work arrangements that are freely negotiated, to mutual benefit, and multi-nationals hiring huge chunks of their workforce on low-hour, if-and-when contracts.

Part-time work, fixed-term contracts, agency work and, in recent times with the large-scale adoption of smartphones, the so-called gig economy, have been part of a trend of casualisation of workforces in many countries.

Those working in the gig economy make themselves available to provide service on an ad hoc basis in return for a fee which is split between the person who performs the service and the company.

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State is crucial in creating a low-carbon economy

Posted on April 06, 2017

As a party, Labour is committed to State activism and intervention. The role of the State will be particularly critical in our transition to a low-carbon, and ultimately zero-carbon, economy. The market alone will not deliver the fundamental change that needs to happen.

Sustainable energy is worth €1.5bn to the economy and employs 18,000 people. This can only increase. It will more than compensate for the inevitable loss of employment in older energy sectors, playing a huge part in a just transition for workers in these sectors.

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Keeping it in the ground

Posted on April 04, 2017

If we believe that by 2050 “fossil fuels will be largely replaced by renewable energy sources”, then we must right now accept the scale of the changes required and start making decisions.

Moneypoint is one such decision. Bord na Móna is another. Its ‘Sustainability 2030’ plan is an important step towards adaptation, but it has been criticised as insufficiently ambitious.

Do we make the case for accelerated change, given the serious challenges that the country and the company both face? We will continue to advocate a partnership between the company, its workers and trade unions and with the midlands communities who will be most acutely affected by the inevitable changes to come.

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Exchequer funding for energy efficiency measures is a ‘no-brainer’

Posted on April 03, 2017

The International Energy Agency recommends energy efficiency as the ‘first fuel’ in a country’s energy mix: the most cost-effective energy is the energy we do not use. IEA analysis also shows that energy efficiency has the potential to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy system security and help build wealth.

Industrial efficiency can play a significant role in this area. SEAI advise that all significant industrial plants should be able to aim for 100% efficiency by converting waste energy to useful purposes - these can include conversion to electricity or district heating projects.

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