Workers in retail, distribution and other essential sectors were on the frontline over the last year as we struggled with the Covid 19 public health crisis. Across the island, they worked to keep the shelves stacked, the shops open and the supply lines clear.
These essential workers faced a far higher risk of contracting the virus in order to ensure the well-being of others. Yet they are also among the lowest paid and most precarious workers across both economies on the island of Ireland. And like other workers they also face exorbitant housing, childcare and other costs.
The applause has long since faded.
Now we need to deliver a New Deal for our essential workers and help create decent work for all across both economies.