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Crowe attends May Day briefing on workers’ rights in the developing world

1 May, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on foreign affairs, trade, and diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, attended a briefing from representatives of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) today. The representatives briefed Oireachtas members on the concept of decent work, as well as workers’ rights in the garment industry.
Deputy Crowe, having expressed thanks for the briefing, said:
“Today is May Day, when we celebrate the international labour movement. It is important to remember Ireland's historical and current labour struggles, and as this year is the centenary of the Dublin 1913 Lockout it will be rightly remembered across Ireland today. However we must not forget about workers around the world, particularly in the Global South.
“The dangerous and exploitive situation in which hundreds of millions of workers find themselves, was tragically illustrated by the building collapse in Bangladesh last week, which killed over 400 people.
“The garment industry is notorious for violating human and workers’ rights. In the past eight months alone over 800 garment workers have died while working in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“The concept of decent work involves creating opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration.
“Decent work must also create freedom for people to express their concerns, organise and participate in the decisions that affect their lives, and equality of opportunity and treatment for all men and women.
“I believe that productive employment and the decent work agenda are key elements to reducing and eventually eradicating poverty across the world.
“Tomorrow the government will be launching the review of the Irish Aid White Paper, which will outline Government policy directions in overseas aid and development for the coming years. I hope that there will be a strong focus on workers’ rights and employment, which reflect the international consensus on the importance of decent work, in the review.
“I will continue to press the Government to ensure that they implement policies which reflect the decent work agenda in all of Ireland’s trade and foreign policies, and especially in discussions on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals framework.”

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