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Time to make Trade Union Recognition a Legal Right – Cullinane

16 January, 2018 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Workers’ Rights David Cullinane TD today introduced a Bill to the Dáil that will make trade union recognition a legal right. 

The Bill is titled the Trade Union Representation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

Deputy Cullinane said:

“The right to join a union is a fundamental human right which can only be realised through collective bargaining between employers and unions.

“However, a right is not a right unless it is recognised as such in law; anything less than that makes it merely an aspiration.

“At the moment, all citizens have a legal right to join a trade union, but there is no legal requirement on employers to recognise that decision for collective bargaining purposes.

“This means that employers can effectively pick and choose who they will deal with when it comes to the legal rights of their employees.

“There is no point in having industrial relations machinery in place if one side in the dispute has an effective veto over the other side in terms of who should represent them.

“Today, myself and my colleague Imelda Munster TD will introduce a Bill that will address this issue.

“It amends the 1941 Trade Union Act so that the right of an authorised trade union in receipt of a negotiating licence to represent its members for the purposes of collective bargaining, including grievance and disciplinary issues, shall be recognised by an employer.

“In other words, there will be a legal requirement on employers to recognise authorised trade unions in receipt of a negotiating licence for the purposes of collective bargaining and disciplinary matters.

“This is not a blanket legal right, and it is important to state that.

“It will apply only to those unions in receipt of a negotiating licence.

“We believe that this is balanced and fair.

“Overall, we believe this Bill will bring a level playing field to industrial relations disputes in this state.” 

Note: Please see the Bill attached

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