Press Centre

Victory for Migrant Workers’ Campaig

 PRESS RELEASE: 28 August 2009

The Migrant Rights CentreIrelandis celebrating a significant victory regarding the announcement today by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, TD, together with the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan, TD, to change the rules regarding non-EEA migrant workers who have been made redundant.

The changes announced will double the length of time, from three to six months that a migrant worker has to seek alternative employment.  In addition, non-EEA migrant workers who have lived and worked inIrelandfor five years under the work permit system will be granted a new permission to live and work without the need to apply for another work permit.

“This victory is as a result of a hard fought campaign to change the unjust and cruel policies that were introduced by the government back in June. This campaign was driven by migrant workers themselves together with the support of trade unions, employer bodies, the faith community and other immigrant organisations,” says Bill Abom, Deputy Director of the MRCI. “While there are still several issues and barriers to overcome both Minister Ahern and the Tánaiste have heard the collective voice of migrant workers and have done the right thing.”

Mr. Abom says, “These changes will make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of non-EEA migrant workers who have committed themselves toIreland, but whose lives have been hanging in the balance. These changes give migrant workers greater equality and greater opportunity to support their families and to contribute to Irish society.”

ENDS