Galway hoteliers have condemned as outrageous the decision by the board of the ESB to pay the 3.5 per cent wage increase under Towards 2016 (the first phase of the transition agreement ).
The Galway branch of the Irish Hotels Federation questions whether the board of the ESB has fully grasped the perilous condition of the Irish economy and calls on the Commission on Energy Regulation (CER ) to intervene immediately and instruct the board to reverse its decision and to disallow wage increases in the calculation energy tariffs.
It states that any increases would further erode Irish industry’s competitiveness, particularly when the focus should now be on seeking whatever means possible to reduce electricity costs.
Paul Gill, chairman of the IHF Galway Branch said that the notion that the board of the ESB would consider wage increases at the current juncture demonstrates a stark disconnect with economic reality. The immediate focus must be on providing electricity at the lowest possible cost and reducing existing prices, which are among the highest in Europe.
“We are calling on the Government to show strong leadership by instructing all state bodies to defer any increases under Towards 2016 until such time as the economy returns to competitiveness. It beggars belief that the ESB could even consider such an action when the economy is witnessing unprecedented deteriorating conditions and severe jobs losses.
“Current energy prices are having a detrimental impact on the financial viability of our members, which are facing extreme difficulties. The Government must act decisively to safeguard competitiveness and support Irish businesses in dealing with the current serious challenges.”