The President of ICMSA said that the week had been very interesting in the way it showed how different sectors of Irish society were viewed and how their work was evaluated.
Pat McCormack said many will have been struck by the demands of some organisations that the work carried out by their members during Storm Emma must be rewarded ‘over and above’ even normal overtime rates and tasks like ensuring that public roads were kept clear and as safe as possible was worthy of extra payment outside all the normal arrangements.
Mr McCormack said the contrast this made with the farming community was both instructive and stark: “The state’s payment to hundreds and hundreds of farmers all over the country, who used their own machinery and their own time and fuel, to keep clear public roads during the snowstorm was a pat on the head and an assurance that they won’t be held liable for any accidents on the public roads that they had cleared through their own efforts and at their own expense.
“The response to all the extra work involved in milking their cows and trying to get the milk collected so it could be processed was a cut of up to three cents per litre on their first decent milk cheque of 2018. It tells you a great deal about the way our work as farmers is just taken for granted and I’m determined that that attitude is going to be challenged”, said Mr McCormack.