Time for a progressive Dáil alliance to advance the cause of workers' rights - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane has said that an opportunity exists to build an alliance of progressive TDs in the Dáil to advance the cause of workers' rights in Ireland.
He said it is the responsibility of all TDs, who hold genuine socialist and progressive principles, to work together to create a fair and equal society.
Deputy Cullinane also stated that the ICTU could play a valuable role in bringing about, and ensuring the effectiveness of such an alliance.
Speaking as people across the country mark International Workers' Day, he said;
"Thirty-nine TDs signed a motion to scrap water charges and Irish Water. Clearly, there is now a substantial progressive block of deputies in the Dáil who, working together, could significantly advance the cause of workers' rights in Ireland.
"With industrial action being taking by employees at Tesco, Transdev (Luas Drivers), emergency call workers and ambulance staff, we can see that workers have not been found wanting in the fight against exploitation.
"The tenacity demonstrated by these workers must be matched by strengthened, organised and strategic political representation in the Oireachtas. This can be achieved through collaborating on legislation, campaigns and co-ordinated efforts to hold the government and state to account on matters that impact working people on a daily basis.
"I believe that such an initiative should command the support of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and I hope that Congress would play a proactive and integral role in bringing about such a dispensation.
"The outgoing government was one of the most anti-worker administrations in the history of the state.It was rightfully rejected by the people in the General Election. However, I cannot imagine the Fine Gael-Fianna Fail arrangement being any better for ordinary workers. The drive to normalise poverty wages, poor working conditions, and the stripping workers of legal protections and statutory rights will continue under a government deal aimed at preserving the status quo.
"For our part, Sinn Féin will continue to champion the cause of workers rights on this island both in the political institutions and in communities, standing with workers.
"The best way to defeat the anti-worker & privatisation agenda is to get like minded people working with united purpose to create an Ireland where workers are truly respected and protected."