I move amendment No. 4 which is in my name and that of Deputy Corish:
In page 5, to add to the section a new subsection as follows:—
"( ) In Part III of the Principal Act `worker' shall include—
(a) an agricultural worker,
(b) a servant of a local authority,
(c) each class of officer of a local authority specified in the Second Schedule to this Act."
This is the first of a series of amendments that we have put down. The amendment to section 10 suggests the addition to the section of a new subsection. Section 10 reads:
(1) If an employer or a trade union representative of employers affected by a registered employment agreement complains to the Court that an employer affected by the agreement has failed or neglected to comply with the agreement, the following provisions shall have effect—
(a) the Court shall consider the complaint, and shall hear all persons appearing to the Court to be interested and desiring to be heard,
(b) if, after such consideration, the Court is satisfied that the complaint is well founded, the Court may by order direct the said employer to do such things as will in the opinion of the Court result in the said agreement being complied with by the said employer.
(2) If, where an order is made by the Court under subsection (1) of this section, the direction contained in the order is not carried out, the person to whom the direction is given shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding ten pounds for every day during which the offence is continued.
(3) If a person affected by a registered employment agreement fails or neglects to comply with the agreement, the person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds and, in the case of a continuing offence, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of one hundred pounds and a further fine not exceeding ten pounds for every day during which the offence is continued.
We put down the amendment because we seem to try to differentiate between different types of workers in this country and one such type of worker who, on every occasion that I know of, to put it mildly, has been treated as a second-class citizen is the agricultural worker. He has not been included in the Employees Holiday Act. There is an Agricultural Workers (Holidays and Wages) Bill before the House which proposes to give these people four extra days' holidays. We were to get that Bill before Easter but it has not been introduced because agricultural workers, according to the present Government, do not count.
Looking at section 10 of this Bill we see that agricultural workers are being left out. There is an Agricultural Wages Board and their job is to fix minimum rates but they have fixed minimum rates so low that even the Government themselves have stated that the rates of pay of lower paid workers are far too low. They pontificate on the necessity to have these rates increased. If the Government wanted that, they could go to the Agricultural Wages Board and tell them that they are not doing their job; that the rates are far too low and that they will find another way of fixing rates and that would be the same way as industrial workers' wages are fixed.
It is necessary that agricultural workers' wages should be included in a Bill such as this. There is no reason why agricultural workers should not be included. One may say that servants of local authorities should not be included but we have, in local authorities as, indeed, in some State employment, productivity agreements. Is there anything wrong with asking the Minister to include in this Bill the servants of local authorities so that productivity agreements could be made legally binding and so that we could ensure that they would apply all round and that the local authority employee would be treated in the same way as anybody else?