Sinn Féin’s Workers’ Rights spokesperson. Senator David Cullinane, has said legislation that does not require employers to recognise trade unions is of little value.
Speaking on foot of the announcement that the government has agreed new proposals on collective bargaining rights, Senator Culinane said:
“Sinn Féin has consistently called on the government to introduce collective bargaining for all workers in line with Ireland’s obligations under international law.
“If press reports are accurate that the proposed legislation stops short of introducing mandatory union recognition which would oblige employers to negotiate with unions, then it is of little value to hard pressed workers.
“Workers’ rights have been under attack for some time.
“Fine Gael, just like Fianna Fail before them, is anti-worker. The latter, after all, reduced the minimum wage, encouraged the proliferation of agency staff and the use of short term contract employment.
“The current government aided and abetted by Labour ministers has continued apace with the dismantling of the state’s architecture of industrial relations.
“Clearly given its anti-worker stand Fine Gael was never going to introduce mandatory trade union recognition.
“But let there be no mistake about it, the Labour Party has yet again betrayed workers and failed to defend the rights of organised labour against greedy employers and the pro-market right wing political elite.
“Workers deserve better. They should not have to jump through hoops and go through lengthy procedures in the Labour Court to secure their basic rights.
“These are the very same rights that successive generations of Irish men and women fought and died for, down through the decades.
“Sinn Féin wants collective bargaining that makes it mandatory for employers to recognize and negotiate with trade unions.
“We want robust anti-victimization workplace legislation and an end to the exploitation of low paid and vulnerable workers.
“While we await the publication of the draft legislation at which time we shall give a more detailed response, let there be no doubt that Sinn Féin will not support legislation that does not compressively and unambiguously protect workers' rights.”