Workers’ Party Councillor Éilis Ryan today (Tuesday May 31st) expressed disappointment at last night’s decision by Labour and Sinn Féin councillors to reject her proposal that major corporations submit an “Economic Impact Assessment” as part of planning applications.
Commenting on the first night of meetings considering motions on the new Dublin City Development Plan, Councillor Ryan said: “My motion called for large corporations – generally classed as those employing above 250 people – to submit an ‘economic impact assessment.’
In practice, this would require corporations to submit information on matters such as wages, and trade union recognition, for review as part of a planning application – just as they are required to submit a review of the likely environmental impact of their development.
Cllr Ryan said that the motion was prompted by speculation that a hotel will be opened on the former Clery’s site on O’Connell Street, in addition to reports of a large number of other proposed hotel investments in that area.
She said: “Average weekly earnings in the hotel sector are only a little above €300 per week- well less than half of average weekly earnings for all employees – according to the Government’s own statistics. Such low-waged employment is bad for the individuals and families concerned, and bad for the economy.
“There are just thirteen unionised hotels in Dublin, three of which are located in the O’Connell Street area. We should use the planning process to protect these decent jobs. Large multinational investors – often facilitated by vulture funds – should not be given planning permission to come in and further drive down wages in the hotel sector.
“It is disappointing that avowedly left-wing parties, Sinn Féin and Labour, would reject such a motion aimed at protecting decent work”, Cllr Ryan concluded.