Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin delegation travel to European Parliament to participate in anti-privatisation conference

12 January, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning welcomed a delegation of party colleagues to the European Parliament for a conference to discuss the controversial 'Bolkestein Directive' which aims to promote privatisation.

Dublin City Councillor Daithi Doolan and Wexford Councillor John Dwyer have joined the six county MEP to voice their concerns about the proposals which are due to be voted on in the coming weeks.

Trade Union representatives have also travelled from Belgium, The Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Britain to participate in today's conference.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Today's conference is about seeking ways to defeat this controversial proposal. Privatisation, deregulation, the destruction of services, and the undermining of workers rights, salaries and conditions have become part the new political consensus across Europe.

"If passed by the European Parliament it will have a profound impact on the rights of workers across the EU. The Directive includes the "country of origin" principle which would allow  companies established in one country to provide services in another country  using the standards of the first country rather than those of the country in  which they are operating. Under this Directive companies will inevitably establish themselves in the EU
country with the lowest standards of workers' rights.

"In addition there is much concern that the essential sectors of health and education will be at the mercy of privatization, if the directive is passed.

"I am pleased to see the larges numbers of people who have travelled to the conference from the trade union movement and particularly those from Ireland in SIPTU, Unison and the IWU. We believe that large-scale public opposition to the Directive can achieve results. We call on trade unionists to increase their pressure on MEPs, TDs and national governments to vote against this Directive." ENDS

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