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Sinn Féin welcomes TEEU decision on Lisbon Treaty

6 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today welcomed the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) decision to reject the Lisbon Treaty. Responding to the announcement the Dublin MEP said "Sinn Féin shares the TEEUs analysis that the Lisbon Treaty fails to address the biggest issue facing workers in Europe, protection of their rights and entitlements."

Ms McDonald said:

"I share the concerns raised by the TEEU and welcome their decision to call for a No vote in next month's referendum. The Irish government had the opportunity during the Treaty negotiations to secure these rights but failed to do so. Instead they are now urging Irish workers to vote for a Treaty that will fundamentally undermine their rights and accelerate the race to the bottom. Vulnerable workers are being pitted against each other by unscrupulous employers who seek to undermine national pay agreements by bringing in 'cheap labour' from member state with lesser entitlements. Recent ECJ judgments have supported this practice and the Treaty will further underpin it.

"The Protocol on the Internal Market and Competition Protocol within the Lisbon Treaty mandates the EU to ensure that 'competition is not distorted'. This provides the EU with a mandate to remove 'distortions' from the provision of services. Such distortions could include workers rights regulations, as well as protective markets, state 'monopolies and public funding.

"The Charter of Fundamental Rights offers no extension of EU law in relation to fundamental rights as stated by Minister of State for Europe Dick Roche on the 4th of March 2008. He added that the Charter 'does not extend the field of application of Union law or establish any new power or task for the Union'. The Charter does not guarantee the right to strike and states (Article 28) that workers have the right to collective bargaining and to take strike action only 'in accordance with national laws and practices' In light of the recent ECJ judgments this already weakened 'right' is further undermined.

"The Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for workers. Europe deserves better." CRÍOCH

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