Dorel Giurca, 53, died of Covid-19 on May 8th

Dorel Giurca, 53, died of Covid-19 on May 8th. He had been earning €10.80 an hour working as a cleaner in St James’s Hospital in Dublin.
His wife Mirela, who has Covid-19, said from her hospital bed “I don’t know how I will live without him”.
Momentum Support Ltd, Dorel’s former employer, say they have adhered strictly to the protocols and guidelines that have been put in place by the relevant authorities in response to Covid-19.
Clearly, the company didn’t do enough to protect Dorel. 
Dorel died keeping people safe for €10.80 per hour. He was not just cleaning a hospital ward, it was a Covid-infected hospital ward. He came here from Romania three years ago. 
From the photograph of him enjoying his pint, one can imagine punters at the same bar giving out about “foreigners taking Irish jobs” and other such ignorant remarks.   Dorel was probably paying extortionate rent to a parasitic landlord. Plenty of middle-class people would look down on him, “he’s only a cleaner”or “an unskilled worker” – the usual guff.  Such essential work, not low-skilled at all but certainly low-paid, is normal life for a huge section of workers in Ireland.  Rogue employers paying poverty wages condemns you to a precarious existence. 
We live in a society that accepts this inequality.  Many profit from it. It’s no accident that the vast majority of workers on the frontline are on low pay.  The same low pay experienced by the retail and construction workers who returned to work today. 
Workers must join a union, get organised, and fight back against this race to the bottom in work.  The Irish state has the highest level of low pay in the EU and the second highest in the OECD.  The statistics are almost as dismal in the six counties. 
Workers and their unions must fight for decent pay, conditions, and dignity in life. A good starting point would be to abolish the 1990 Industrial Relations Act, and the equivalent legislation in the north, which restricts workers and unions taking strike action. 
Four trade unions – Mandate, and Connect, Unite and Fórsa (civil service section) – representing 153,000 workers have already adopted as policy the call to abolish the Act.  The next generation of workers in the Union of Students in Ireland representing 367,000 students are also calling for the act to be abolished.
If the 1990 Industrial Relations Act is abolished it will give workers the power to fight against rogue employers like Momentum Support paying front-line staff €10.80 an hour to clean Covid-infected wards.