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Trade Union leaders address Sinn Féin conference on workers rights

19 November, 2005


Sinn Féin Workers Rights spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD speaking at a party conference on social partnership, which was addressed by Trade Union leaders Jack O’Connor from SIPTU and Mick O’Reilly from the ATGWU, said ‘this is a crucial period for Trade Unions and all those concerned with upholding workers rights.  We need to stand together and oppose the actions of employers such as those at Irish Ferries and Doyle Concrete.  We also need to strongly oppose the direction of the Fianna Fáil/PD coalition government.  Deputy Morgan called for an urgent fight back against exploitation and for the advancement of workers rights.

Deputy Morgan said:

“Labour affairs are at a crossroads with workers rights in this state under greater threat now than they have been for a generation.  There are those who want to bring us further down the road of outsourcing and social dumping.  This is clear from the situation at companies such as Irish Ferries and Doyle Concrete.  It is also clear from the policy direction of the Fianna Fáil/PD coalition. 

 

“Nearly 20 years into the Social Partnership process it’s future is increasingly uncertain with serious questions being raised about is value.

 

“This weekend Sinn Féin activists from across Ireland came together to discuss the social partnership process. Today’s discussion is not about whether or not Sinn Féin accepts the current model of social partnership.  Our criticisms of the current model are unambiguous.  We believe that the current process is not in the interest of workers and it was not designed to deliver for the disadvantaged and the low paid. 

 

“Today’s discussion is about whether another model of social partnership is possible. It is about asking how should Sinn Féin approach this issue if in government?  Would we seek to abolish Social Partnership altogether or retain it in an altered form?  We discussed if it is possible to develop a new Social Partnership underpinned by a different ideology and driven by a different social vision.  And critically we discussed how a genuine process involving Trade Unions, employers and the community and voluntary sector can be used to further a vision based on the redistribution of wealth.

 

“This is a crucial period for Trade Unions and all those concerned with upholding workers rights.  We need to stand together and oppose the actions of employers such as those at Irish Ferries and Doyle Concrete.  We also need to strongly oppose the direction of this coalition government.  There is an urgent need for a fight back against exploitation and for the advancement of workers rights.”ENDS

 

 

 

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