Sinn Féin responds to ICTU Towards 2016 vote
Responding to the decision of union delegates to endorse the Towards 2016 Partnership agreement today, Sinn Féin Social Affairs spokesperson Seán CroweTD expressed disappointment at the decision, while reiterating that it was a decision for the unions themselves to take. Acknowledging the positives negotiated in the Agreement, Deputy Crowe went on to stress the importance of both sides of the debate now coming together to ‘advance the interests of Irish workers, fight for improved public services and defend democratically owned industry’.
The Dublin South-West TD said: “Sinn Féin took a position of opposing the Towards 2016 agreement, a position shared by a number of unions who voted at Congress today to oppose the deal, and by unions like Mandate, which withdrew from the process entirely because of the failure of Partnership to deliver for the low-paid. We outlined seven key reasons for our decision, including the fact that the negotiated pay increases will be wiped out by inflation, the lack of an ‘ability to pay’ clause for employers and the deal’s endorsement of privatisation.
“While I am disappointed at the result of today’s ballot, Sinn Féin has always respected the fact that this is a decision for the trade union members themselves, while believing we had a duty to outline our position. We have previously noted the achievements of the deal in regard to commitments to better monitoring of labour law, increased protections for workers and more Labour Inspectors. These are to be welcomed.
“Whatever one’s position on Towards 2016, the vote today means an end to the debate on whether to accept it or not. In order to advance the interests of Irish workers, fight for improved public services and defend democratically owned industry, it is necessary for both sides of the debate to work together against those determined to privatise our social services and profit from the exploitation of workers.”