SIPTU General Secretary, Joe Cunningham, has asked the Government to ensure that workers and their representatives are involved in the distribution and monitoring of the grants and subsidies included in the €5 billion stimulus plan announced today. “We believe that this stimulus plan to deal with the economic shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will only succeed if workers and their representatives are involved in monitoring the distribution of these public monies through sectoral oversight committees. “It is essential that these stimulus measures are shared across the economy and directed at those sectors and employments in a way that achieves the most productive result while protecting the wages and conditions of workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. “The significant initiatives announced by the Government today will only generate the maximum economic and social benefit if there is an oversight mechanism, involving worker representatives, at sectoral level. “I will be writing to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, and the relevant ministers to call for the establishment of oversight committees on a sector by sector basis, with stakeholder participation – employees, employers and relevant civil society groups – to monitor the expenditure of public subsidies and to resolve problems that might arise in the workplace.” The SIPTU General Secretary said union members are also concerned at the reduction of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment over the coming months when so many workers have not yet returned to employment and where there is so much uncertainty about the future spread of the virus in communities across the country.