SIPTU members have secured the signing into law today (Thursday, 1st October) of two new Employment Regulation Orders (ERO) for the contract cleaning and security sectors which will protect pay and conditions for up to 45,000 low paid workers. The proposals for the EROs were agreed following negotiations at the Joint Labour Committees (JLC) for the sectors before being adopted by the Labour Court and then signed into law by Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash.SIPTU Sector Organiser, Diane Jackson, said: “These EROs provide for legally enforceable minimum terms and conditions for workers in these two sectors. SIPTU members secured the legislation that underpins these EROs through a major lobbying and protest campaign after the original JLC system was struck down by the High Court in July 2011. “Their hard work and the support received from the minister has ensured that up to 15,000 security workers and up to 30,000 contract cleaners across the country now have the tools with which to secure greater security in their working lives.”Cavan General Hospital contract cleaner and SIPTU activist, Teresa Thompson, said: “This deal is a step in the right direction. Cleaners deserve to be paid a wage they can live on and this can be achieved within this new system. Our job is a very responsible one; we provide essential cleaning services that ensure that among other places the country’s hospitals, workplaces and schools can function safely. This new legislation goes some way towards recognising the importance of our jobs.”“This is a good day for workers in the security industry,” said Security Officer and SIPTU activist, Christy Waters. “Since the collapse of the JLC system some security companies have taken advantage of the situation and gained lots of contracts by exploiting their workers and paying only the minimum wage. This ERO will put a stop to all of this.“Security officers provide a vital service to clients protecting property and people against harm, often in dangerous situations. This deal also provides real benefits in relation to personal attack benefit as well as physical and psychological supports.”