The economic recovery can only be safeguarded by pay rises for workers across the economy, is the message from SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor. Speaking on the Matt Cooper Show on Today FM on Monday (2nd February), Jack O’Connor laid out the reasons why Irish workers should receive pay rises of 5% or more, and employers should move to paying a living wage to all workers of  €11.45 per hour.Among the reasons he outlined why the pay increases were reasonable were; the decrease in unit labour costs in Ireland compared to our main competitors; projected economic growth in 2015 of 4%-7%; that 60% of our foreign trade is with countries outside the Eurozone which has been increasingly profitable due to the currencies relative decline and the reduction in energy costs for business.He said for workers rises were clearly needed due to many having only experienced wage reductions over the past seven years and in order to increase domestic demand to assist the economic recovery.On whether the 5% pay target would be achieved, Jack O’Connor, said: “That depends on how vigorously we fight for it. How well we organise and how well people organise themselves in order to make a stand and regain some of the ground that was lost over the past seven years.”