Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government must legislate for Collective Bargaining

9 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Workers Rights Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has today reiterated his party's demand that government legislate for collective bargaining.

The Louth TD said:

"Today's pay talks will be focusing on non pay issues such as the right to collective bargaining; however it is the legislative responsibility of this government to deliver on this demand.

"Fianna Fáil and their government partners have to date refused to progress collective bargaining legislation through the Oireachtas. It is this refusal that has resulted in trade unions having to negotiate the demand through the pay talk's process. Arguably this is an unhelpful point of debate in the context of trade unions and employers group trying to negotiate improved pay deals in the current economic climate.

"In June Sinn Féin launched a Bill to provide for the right to collective bargaining and mandatory trade union recognition. The Bill was jointly launched with Jimmy Kelly Regional Secretary for the states second largest trade union UNITE. Unions such as SIPTU and the TEEU have also been vocal in the demand for workers rights legislation in this area.

"Significant cost of living increases must be addressed for the lower paid. This is not simply a moral debate; it is a bread and butter issue for hundreds of thousands of workers across this state who simply cannot afford to make ends meet. It's about a fair days pay for a fair days work.

"The absence of the right to collective bargaining and mandatory trade union recognition impedes the ability of unions to protect and improve the rights of the workers, particularly the lower paid. Government must stop shirking its responsibility to workers and knuckle down to business in the area of workers rights. It has at every turn let workers down and this track record cannot continue.

"Brian Cowen needs to step up rather than sit back at this juncture of the pay talks.

"All stakeholders must adopt an innovative and compassionate perspective that incorporates the very real needs of the low paid whilst acting responsibly to ensure the economy's stability in the short term." ENDS

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