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Sinn Féin to host public meeting on Services Directive

7 February, 2006

Sinn Féin will host a public meeting on the controversial Services Directive in Trinity College tomorrow evening, Wednesday 8th February at 7:30pm. Speaking on the night will be Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, SIPTU president Jack O’Connor, René Roovers of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament and Barry Finnegan from the Campaign Against the European Constitution.   

Speaking in advance of the meeting Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “Sinn Féin was the only party to recognise the full threat posed by the Services Directive to workers and service users alike when it was first proposed by the European Commission and came before the Oireachtas EU Affairs Committee back in March 2004. We welcome the recent increase in awareness raising activities by stakeholders and groups opposed to the Directive.

“It is essential that broad public debate precedes and informs the voting decisions of Irish representatives in both the European Parliament and Council and Sinn Féin is delighted to facilitate further discussion on the Directive.

“The purpose of the public meeting is to explore the potential impact of the Directive on workers and service users in the state. 

“Amongst Sinn Féin’s concerns about the Directive are; it puts downward pressure on wages, and provides companies with numerous loopholes which they can exploit to pay less than the minimum wage; it provides an incentive to service providers to move to low-wage, low-tax countries with poorer standards of regulation thereby encouraging a ‘race to the bottom’ in relation to employment conditions, health and safety standards, quality and accessibility guarantees and also that under the Directive, an Irish government would be unable to protect workers and service users in Ireland.” ENDS

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