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McDonald Challenges Gilmore to Debate on Workers Rights & Lisbon

6 September, 2009

Responding to claims made by Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore on RTE radio today, Sinn Féin vice president Mary Lou McDonald has challenged Gilmore to a public debate on Workers Rights and the Lisbon Treaty.

Ms McDonald said:

'Eamon Gilmore's claims regarding workers rights and the Lisbon Treaty are simply false.

'Speaking on RTE radio today he argued that the Treaty would protect workers through the Charter of Fundamental Rights. He also argued that the solemn Declaration on Workers Rights further addressed the concerns of the electorate on these issues. He is wrong on both counts.

'40% of people who rejected the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 did so because of concerns over workers rights. They are concerned with the anti worker direction of both the European Commission and the European Court of Justice.

'The Lisbon Treaty, particularly through the Protocol on the Internal Market and Competition gives further strength to the Commission and Court in their drive to force down wages and conditions. Under the guise of making the EU the most competitive economy in the world the are persuing a race to the bottom agenda in workers terms and conditions that is bad for individual employees and the economy overall.

'I am today challenging Eamon Gilmore to a public debate on the implications of the Lisbon Tretay for workers rights. If Mr Gilmore is confident in his position he will accepct the challenge in the interests of an honest and informed public debate.' ENDS

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