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Gilmore Guilty of U-Turn on Lisbon and Workers Rights - Ferris

31 August, 2009 - by Martin Ferris TD

Speaking in response to Labour Party Leader Eamon Gilmore's comments on the Lisbon Treaty today, Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has accused the Labour leader of "a massive u-turn on workers rights."

Deputy Ferris said:

"In June last year Eamon Gilmore said 'the Lisbon Treaty is dead' and 'the result of the referendum must be fully respected' and that 'It would be entirely wrong, inappropriate, and counter-productive for the European Union to proceed on the basis of any settlement that does not fully respect the voice of the Irish people.'

"In December last during a debate on the future of the Lisbon Treaty Gilmore told the Dáil that 'there is a very real concern among working people that the way has been opened for an undermining of the levels of pay and working conditions' and that 'these issues must be satisfactorily addressed before the holding of another referendum.'

"In post referendum opinion polls last year 40% of those surveyed listed workers’ rights as a ‘significant’ reason for voting no. Many of these people were Labour voters.

"Since then nothing has changed for workers rights in Ireland or across the EU, other than rising unemployment and further deterioration in workers pay and conditions.
"The Solemn Declaration onm Workers Rights agreed at the Council of Ministers meeting in June is purely aspirational, and commits the EU to no action whatsoever.  It does nothing to reverse the series of recent judgments by the European Court of Justice undermining workers’ rights. It provides the EU with no new instruments to promote or protect workers’ rights. It will not be added as a protocol to any future EU Treaty, and therefore will have no meaningful legal status.
"The concerns regarding workers rights that motivated many people to reject the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 remain in place. Despite this Eamon Gilmore is calling on people to support the Treaty. This is nothing short of a massive u-turn on workers rights." ENDS

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