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Labour Party abandons election commitment to legislate for collective bargaining

18 June, 2013

Speaking in the Dail tonight on the issue of workers’ rights Sandra McLellan, Sinn Fein TD for Cork East said:

“Ireland is out of step with other countries in that there is no requirement in law that obliges an employer to recognise a Trade Union in a specific workplace or to engage with them.

“The Labour Party before the last election gave a commitment to introduce legislation that would address these important issues.

“Indeed the Programme for Government committed to and I quote ‘reform the current law on employees’ right to engage in collective bargaining, so as to ensure compliance by the state with recent judgements of the European Court of Human Rights.’

“Thus far nothing has happened with regard to this commitment.

“On the contrary a number of forms of collective bargaining have been struck down over recent years and this includes the JLC’s in 2011, and the REA’s this year.

“Long hours, low pay, poor working conditions, and abusive and exploitative employers are still very much part of the everyday landscape of work in Ireland.

“In the Ireland of 2013 the poor are still with us, and issues to do with injustice, inequality, and the general welfare of the working class are as pressing and as relevant as they were a hundred years ago.”


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