Who is we paleface?

"It’s just another manic MondayWish it were Sunday That’s my fun day My I don’t have to run day It’s just another manic Monday"

(The Bangles)


Overtime payments are given to those for whom Sunday is not a fun-day, that is in recognition of unsocial hours worked, hours out of sync with the rest of society. Attacking their use in the Tourist Industry, the Minister for Tourism,Martin Cullen's argues 

 "We have all moved to a seven-day week, so we will have to renegotiate this across the entire workforce to remain competitive,” he added. “It will have to come to the next step and I hope that by negotiation in the near future it will be seen as a normal rotation of whatever a 40-hour week is. That is the way it has to be."

The Dail (the Irish parliament) by the way doesn't sit at the weekend. It sits 3 days a week, from 2.30pm on Tuesday to 4.45pm on Thursday, so it does make you wonder who the "we" he is referring to.  A similar question is provoked by Fine Gael tourism spokeswoman Olivia Mitchell response “I understand that there have been some improvements from double time down to time-and- a-third, but the whole structure of the catering industry pay rates seems to be a real barrier to survival for many such firms.” I doubt the waiters and waitresses who have had their overtime cut, consider it to be an improvement. 

According to the CSO, in 2004 over 10% of employees worked overtime. The Fourth European Working Conditions Survey (2005) indicates that less than 50% of the working population in Ireland and the UK work on Saturdays, and less than 35% work on Sundays.

All this brings another Eipper quote to mind.

“By successfully marshalling government, religious and popular support for their interests, they [the business class] were able, in the classic fashion, to present their specific interests as general ones”.