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Trade Unions’ Right to Access should be embraced rather than feared - David Cullinane TD

22 February, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD

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Sinn Féin Workers’ Rights spokesperson David Cullinane will lead a Dáil debate this evening on his Right to Access Bill which seeks to ensure that Trade Unions have access to their members in the workplace.

Speaking today ahead of the debate Deputy Cullinane said;

“The right of trade union representatives to engage with its members in the workplace should not be feared but embraced. It is a right afforded to workers in many countries that are competitive and lead the way in terms of workers rights.

“Our Bill mirrors the Australian and New Zealand model. It is a model which works effectively and is supported by employers groups and trade unions in those countries. It is seen, rightly, as an opportunity to avoid conflict in the workplace and promotes harmonious relationships between a employee and their employer.

“Sinn Fein believes in strong, robust, fair and effective employment rights. We believe in the right of workers to organise, to join a trade union and to be represented by a trade union. We support the right of workers to collectively bargain and see this as inextricably linked to trade union recognition.

“The current voluntary system has worked for some but failed many. Some unscrupulous employers engage in campaigns of bullying, harassment and intimidation. They do so because they can.

“Decent employers should have no truck with such tactics. Those who value their employees have nothing to fear from strengthened labour laws. Those who seek to bully, routinely ignore Industrial Relations laws and ignore our industrial relations mechanisms do so to protect their interests over those of their employees.

“In my view a successful economy is one that values those who contribute to it. A successful employment rights infrastructure is one that operates on the basis of equality and a level playing field between worker and employer.

“A Republic is only a Republic in name if it does not vindicate the rights of citizens. And central to this has to be the rights of people in the workplace.”


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