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A strong workers movement needed to end working poverty - Cullinane

7 February, 2015 - by David Cullinane TD

Speaking at a conference today entitled “The Living Wage – A Way Forward”, Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane in his keynote address outlined the need for greater co-operation on the issue of working poverty and how a strong labour movement can help transform society. This conference was attended by leaders of trade union and other progressive movements, including Jimmy Kelly of UNITE, John Douglas of Mandate and Patricia King of ICTU.

Senator Cullinane said:

“This conference is about working with the groups and individuals who have the knowledge, experience, and drive to make change in the area of a living wage and an end to working poverty a reality.”

“Solving these problems must be a holistic approach, consisting of work in areas such as pay, welfare, taxation, public services, and industrial relations or else no truly effective measures can be concerned.”

“We need a strong workers movement in this country, one that is capable of standing up for workers’ rights and defending against regressive government policy.”

“We need a shared space between trade unions, progressive movements and political parties in order to evaluate where we are and how we move forward as a society.”

“The living wage is not simply a matter of increasing the minimum wage. We need to start thinking about a social wage and how to end the current phenomenon of the working poor. This shared space would allow us to create this narrative.”

“It would be my firm desire that this narrative could become the charter of a new society, a rights-based society, an Ireland of equals.”

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