Wednesday 22 November 2017

SIPTU to consider postponing ballot on industrial action

SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor Photo: Tony Gavin
SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor Photo: Tony Gavin
Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

SIPTU will consider a request from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to postpone their ballot for industrial action, their President has said.

SIPTU had set today as the deadline for the government to agree to talks on public pay before balloting their members, but the ICTU yesterday gave the government two weeks to consider entering into talks and asked SIPTU to delay the ballot to coincide with theirs.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning, SIPTU President Jack O’Connor said that the request would be considered in the interest of a collective response.

"I think there will be consideration of the request from the officers of the Public Services Committee of Congress,” he said.

"We have always made it clear that we strongly support a national agreement. It's the best way for every worker in the public service. You have far more leverage as part of 300,000 workers than trying to do it on your own and actually it's better for the country as well."

However, Mr O’Connor indicated that the SIPTU executive were unlikely to change their mind on the issue.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, he said: “I think there will be due consideration of that today, and I think we will arrive at a conclusion that endorses the decision to ballot but respects the request from the officers of the Congress.”

“This executive always made it clear to our members that when things changed and we had our recovery we would march out again to support them in industrial action and strike action,” he continued.

He stressed that the decision to ballot would not reflect an intention to negotiate separately to the ICTU if the government agreed to pay talks.

“We did argue very strongly that the negotiations should be conducted by the public services committee of Congress.”

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