Thursday 18 January 2018

Collective bargaining legislation criticised by Unite union

Jimmy Kelly, general secretary of the Unite trade union
Jimmy Kelly, general secretary of the Unite trade union
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

THE proposed collective bargaining legislation has been criticised by a trade union, who has claimed it may force workers into "company unions".

Trade union Unite has said that the "so-called collective bargaining legislation", which has been proposed here is aimed to "provide remedies for workers who do not have access to collective bargaining".

Jimmy Kelly, the Unite Regional Secretary in Ireland, told delegates at the union's conference in Dublin earlier today that they are concerned the Government's proposals will force employees to negotiate with their employers through "company unions".

Mr Kelly said these bodies have "long been outlawed as unfair labour practice in Canada and the United States".

"Collective bargaining is a basic workers' right.  It is a human right, and it is a right Unite will continue to fight for,"  Mr Kelly told the conference, which is being held in Croke Park.

"It is legislation to provide remedies for workers who do not have access to collective bargaining.

"These proposals do not vindicate the right of workers to negotiate collectively through a body of their choice.

"Not only do Government's proposals not provide for collective bargaining- Unite is also extremely concerned that the proposed legislation will retain the position of 'excepted bodies'. 

"In effect, this means that companies may choose to negotiate with their employees through an employer-sponsored association."

Also speaking at today's conference, was social justice campaigner Sr Stanislaus Kennedy,

The founder of homeless charity Focus Ireland said the economic crash took a "safety net" from families and that the "rug was literally pulled out from under them".

"Everyday I encounter families with small children who are harassed, broken, their self-esteem trampled on.  We will be dealing with the fallout from this in terms of mental illness, family breakdown, suicide and addiction for decades to come," Sr Stan told the delegates.

"Austerity too has been ruthless in it's treatment of those people who never enjoyed the benefits of the boom."

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