Opening Bell: Pfizer's Cork workers in pension dispute, gender pay gap, vulture funds & renters

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The Government is being urged to protect tenants from vulture funds.

The Anti-Austerity Alliance is set to publish a bill today which it says would prevent evictions being carried out to increase rents.

It comes following days of controversy over vulture funds and the level of tax they pay on their earnings.

Ruth Coppinger has said it is time for the Government to take action:

"What we are calling for is the Government to support our bill to outlaw sales of properties... for eviction. That would – and is the only way to – protect people who are in properties that are being sold by vulture funds.

"If they want to sell, they have to sell with a tenant in situ, unaffected."

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Total employment in Ireland is at its highest level since 2008.

The Morgan McKinley Irish Salary guide also found that 2017 will show continued job creation and employment growth.

Professionals in finance, pharmaceuticals and IT sectors continue to be the most in demand.

The guide shows an average 20% pay gap between men and women in professional jobs.

Trayc Keevans is from recruitment consultants Morgan McKinley:

"There is undoubtedly continued challenges in finding and attracting and retaining talent. With the unemployment rate hitting the lowest its been in eight years at 7.2% and also IDA reporting the lowest net losses that they've had and record employment/jobs created, we're seeing a different appetite of employers in what they are looking for."
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Female workers in Germany can now see if they're being paid less than men who are doing the same job.

The German government introduced new laws on Wednesday in a bid to tackle the country's pay gap of around 20%.

Staff in companies with more than 200 employees now have the right to see what men and women in equal roles earn.

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Workers at two of Pfizer's Cork plants have voted in favour of industrial action over changes to pension arrangements, the Irish Times reports.

The pharma giant is looking to close its non-contributory defined-benefit (DB) pension scheme, which are becoming a rarity in Ireland's private sector.

Siptu has yet to inform Pfizer what form the action will take, following the ballot of 900 workers in Ringaskiddy and Little Island.

The company has said it was disappointed with the outcome and called on the union to return to the negotiating table.