‘Bad bosses’ will look to cut wages on back of British exit

Brexit will be used by “bad bosses” as an excuse to drive down wages, a conference of the country’s unions will hear.

The leader of the trade union movement – Patricia King – warned that there are unlikely to be “many upsides for working people on this island” as a result of the UK’s EU departure.

Six motions have been tabled on the Brexit issue at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ biennial conference, which begins in Belfast today.

In one motion, Unite says even if tariff-free trade is delivered, there are still many concerns for workers.

It says these include the risk of “bad bosses” using the opportunity to push down pay, the rights of EU workers in the UK, UK workers in the EU, and domestic cross-border workers, as well as “economic dislocation”.

It has already been estimated that 200 jobs have been lost in the Republic due to the referendum’s unsettling impact on the value of sterling, while the ESRI has warned wages could fall by up to 10pc in vulnerable sectors.

The union umbrella body wants EU directives which govern crucial workers’ rights to be upheld.


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