Thursday 21 February 2019

Human rights report hits out at Ireland for denying gardaí the right to strike

Stock photo
Stock photo
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Ireland has been criticised by a Europe-wide human rights and democracy organisation for denying gardaí the right to strike.

A report published today by a Council of Europe committee also hit out at restrictions which prohibit police representative organisations from joining national employees' groups. The report by the European Committee on Social Rights will increase pressure on the Government to remove restrictions.

The issues were examined following a complaint by the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI).

While there is no single specific prohibition barring gardaí from going on strike, a combination of provisions in law, combined with Garda regulations, effectively preclude strikes from occurring.

Despite this, the country found itself on the verge of a major Garda strike in 2016.

This was only averted after the Labour Court recommended increased pay levels and access to the Workplace Relations Commission.

The report said that while there had been progress, Ireland was still in breach of a number of articles of the European Social Charter.

In a statement the AGSI said it noted the committee's observations with interest. The AGSI said it was anxious for the Government to implement a December 2013 committee decision in full, including the right to strike.

Irish Independent

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