Trade unions are warning that a further 200,000 people will lose their jobs in the coming days.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has written to the Taoiseach calling for “much more ambitious measures” to try and save jobs and uphold incomes for workers that are laid-off due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
General Secretary Patricia King said 140,000 people have already lost their jobs and warned that further lay-offs in the coming weeks could bring the country “close to the total number of jobs lost in the first two-and-a-half years of the post-2008 crash.”
She warned that the economic impact for workers in the coming months is “very grave indeed” – warning that households could see their income halved.
“While it is important to acknowledge that some employers are making strong efforts to uphold wages for their workforce others are making no effort whatsoever,” she said.
She said the Government must immediately introduce a scheme to subsidises the salaries of workers under threat of losing their jobs, with a view to preserving their net income.
“While I recognise that the level of public investment required in these circumstances is substantial, we are experiencing a national public health emergency unparalleled over the past 100 years,” she said.
“In our view, such an exigency necessitates exceptional financial interventions at this point in time.”
ICTU said it is willing to work with the Government and all stakeholders in the bid to bring in the necessary measures.