The government has 'failed' aviation workers - Clarke

(Above) Deputy Sorca Clarke.

The government has failed aviation workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

That's according to Deputy Sorca Clarke, who has called on the Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys to clarify why aviation staff, many of whom have already experienced a significant decrease in their earnings were told by the DESP that they must experience a further substantial loss of earnings in order to re-qualify for casual Job Seekers Benefit.

Deputy Clarke's call comes following what she describes as "several worrying conversations with distressed aviation workers across the country whose payments have been cut without explanation or possibility of review".

“I have received a substantial number of calls and emails from aviation workers from across Longford and Westmeath and further afield, who are deeply concerned following the abrupt cessation of their casual Jobseekers Benefit”

“Many of these workers have already experienced a significant reduction in their earnings as a direct result of the pandemic. This Fianna Fail/Fine Gael led Government have failed once again to put in place strategies to protect workers – particularly those employed in areas worst affected by the pandemic, most notably the aviation, hospitality and tourism sector.”

“The Government and Minister Humphreys have had over 12 months to put a plan in place to extend the criteria for Jobseekers Benefit for those affected by the pandemic, yet they failed to do so. This has resulted in thousands of employees across the country once again left in financial limbo.”

“The Minister needs to come out and explain to these workers why she did not foresee this happening and why her Department are yet to introduce an interim payment for those who have exhausted the criteria for casual Jobseekers Benefit.”

“Those I have had the pleasure of speaking with are hard working people who would love nothing more than to return to work. Current travel restrictions won’t allow for this; therefore, the Government need to provide these workers with the essential financial support they need.”

“This matter is deeply concerning and requires immediate action in order to protect these workers.”