Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has called on Minister Varadkar to ensure that no person engaging in industrial action will have their Family Income Supplement stopped.
Teachta Brady said:
“On joining with Tesco workers on the picket lines in recent days, I was concerned at the number of workers who had mentioned threats made to them regarding the loss of Family Income Supplement payments for participating in strike action.
“Tesco’s use of bully boy tactics and threatening workers who are on FIS because of the Tesco contracts is totally unacceptable.
“This is not just another tactic used by Tesco management in an attempt to break the ongoing strike but a threat straight from the Department of Social Protection rulebook.
“The Department expect employees to declare that they are engaging in industrial action for their FIS payment to be stopped and then re-applied for once they return to work.
“Workers are then left to wait up to 6 months for FIS to be awarded to them again and are therefore, left with this payment that they are already entitled to.
“Minister Varadkar needs to ensure that his Department remove this rule immediately. He also needs to give assurances that no worker engaging in industrial action will have their payment cut.
“No worker engages in industrial action unless they have no other option. The State must not play any role in discouraging industrial action through such a financial sanction as this.
“On raising this with Minister Varadkar today, he has committed to look into the matter and I will be following up on this with him