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Kathleen Funchion speaks on motion 97

20 February, 2009


Comrades on June 12th 2008 the Irish people overwhelmingly rejected the Lisbon Treaty.

Voters made their decision based on the fact that Lisbon was a bad deal for Ireland. Nothing has changed. The Lisbon Treaty is still a bad deal for Ireland.

Instead of respecting our democratic decision and negotiating a better deal for Ireland and the EU the government has rushed ahead with Lisbon part two desperately pandering to the big boys in Europe rather than listening to the people they are suppose to represent.

Be it Lisbon part one or Lisbon part two - this is a bad deal for public services and for workers rights.

The EU has historically perused a policy open markets and privatisation. The fiasco's witnessed in the aftermath of Eircom and Aer Lingus will be the fate of Ireland's public health, education and transport services.

Irish workers through the trade union movement have fought hard to improve the working and living conditions for all our people. This has certainly not been easy and as someone who is active in the trade union movement I can testify to this.

Basic workers rights remain unprotected; there is no right to trade union recognition or to collective bargaining. This has got to change. We need a legislative commitment from government on these issues.

Contrary to what the establishment parties would have you believe, the Lisbon treaty and in particular the charter of fundamental rights will not strengthen workers rights in this country as it is not mandatory for the Irish government to enshrine the charter into domestic law.

Sinn Féin believes Ireland's place is in Europe.

But that is no reason for us to feel bullied into a second referendum on the same second rate deal. Public services and workers rights need to be protected.

We need a new Treaty.

I urge people to vote for real change in the upcoming local and European elections and call on all delegates to strongly support motion 97. GRMA

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