Bella Ciao
by Niall Shanahan

The labour market, and the pressures that come with near-full employment, provides an interesting news pattern today. The Indo reports that private sector workers are expected to demand pay rises in the region of 4% from January "as unions take advantage of a tighter labour market".


As you may already be aware, it was reported last week that Fórsa's general secretary Kevin Callinan has also warned of the possibility that no public service pay agreement will be in place to follow the current deal when it expires at the end of next year.


The Irish Times on Saturday reported a decline in profits for Crewlink, one of the companies that provide cabin crew to Ryanair, partly attributed to a 10% increase in the average wage paid to its workers, but reflecting increases in other operational costs too.


But it's not just pay pressures that define the current labour market situation.


The employer's body Ibec is warning that bottlenecks in transport, housing and childcare are making it more difficult for companies to hire and retain workers. In its latest Quarterly Economic Outlook, Ibec says it expects the economy to grow at a more moderate pace in the coming years. It expects the economy to grow strongly this year at 5.9% and to continue at a slower rate of 3.1% next year.


Elsewhere, the Irish Times reports that speed limits will be cut to 30km/h in “all residential areas” across Dublin city under new traffic laws due to come into force next year. The paper reports that Dublin City Council’s traffic committee will this week be asked to approve the extension of lower speed limits to the whole local authority area and will also be asked to approve an increase in parking charges of up to €3.50 an hour in the city.


Your Zen this morning brings you news of the 'sardine movement' who have inspired and organised a series of anti-fascist protests in Italy in recent weeks. Up to 40,000 demonstrators gathered in Florence's Piazza della Repubblica at the weekend and, in the clip below, are heard singing the anti-fascist song "Bella Ciao". The sardine has become a symbol of protest against the far-right leader Matteo Salvini. The new movement has staged around 10 demonstrations over the past two weeks in northern Italy.




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