Northern Ireland news

Survey finds almost half of workers have been bullied at work

Derry Trades' Union Council chairman Niall McCarroll
Seamus McKinney

ALMOST half of workers who responded to a trade union survey in Derry said they had been bullied or harassed at work.

The poll by Derry Trades’ Union Council also found almost three out of every four workers said they struggled to pay their bills.

Trades’ council chairman Niall McCarroll said the findings were based on 368 workers who responded to the survey, almost half of whom worked in the hospitality sector.

"The political classes and the bosses must now act to address the exploitation and undervaluing of our young people and the wider local labour force," he said.

"The local chambers of commerce must now also take on the responsibility, with others, of reversing years of wage inequalities and hardships which have been created through profit-driven local employment practices."

The survey also found while 55 per cent were on full-time permanent contracts, 15 per cent remained on zero-hour contracts.

More than two thirds said that, if sick, they had to rely on statutory sick pay as their employers did not provide sick pay.

Almost three quarters said they struggled to pay bills while 45 per cent said they had experienced bullying and/or harassment in the workplace. One in four workers said they have had to use food banks in the past.

Mr McCarroll said there was a "local culture" within the employment market which led to a "derisory and insulting" take-home pay level leaving workers barely able to survive.

He said one in three workers were earning below £4.62 per hour. He said he believed local businesses should be asked to make known how much they pay staff so the public could decide whether or not to support them.

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