Minister confident there will be no split from trade union
Environment Minister Alan Kelly has said he expects Siptu will remain affiliated to the Labour Party, as the union holds a ballot on the use of its political funds this week.
The country's largest trade union, which has 165,000 members, will table the ballot on Wednesday at its biennial conference, which opens in Cork today.
The union's national executive will put a motion before members over a review of the use of its €180,000 political fund.
It is understood the education section is proposing to 'disaffiliate' from the party in favour of establishing relationships with other left-wing parties and groups.
However, the party's deputy leader, Mr Kelly, yesterday said that while it was "a matter for" the members, he was confident the affiliation would remain in place.
"I am actually a member of Siptu, as well as being the deputy leader of the Labour Party," he said yesterday. "But this is an issue that comes up from time to time. But it is a matter for themselves. I expect they will stay with it."
Siptu leader Jack O'Connor said he was expecting a "very good debate", but added that he would not participate.
Siptu and Labour have been linked for more than a century.