Friday 24 November 2017

We have too many unions, warns Begg

David Begg and Cormac O’Dalaigh
David Begg and Cormac O’Dalaigh
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

ONE of the most high-profile union leaders in the country has warned there are too many unions for too few people.

David Begg, the general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), said having 48 unions to represent 800,000 people was "not compatible" with the objective of changing the world.

"The truth I have come to realise is that the way our movement is structured is sub optimal," he said.

"It is too fragmented, too under-resourced, too prone to internal disruption, too reform resistant and too anchored to grapple effectively with the challenges confronting us."

Mr Begg was addressing over 400 delegates on the first day of the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) three-day biennial conference in Killarney, Co Kerry.

He also supported the CWU's call for a pay rise as an "economic necessity" though he declined to comment on their demand for a 6pc increase for workers across the public and private sectors.

The CWU represents over 17,000 communications workers in telecoms, postal and courier companies including An Post, Eircom, Vodafone and O2.

Earlier, CWU president Cormac O'Dalaigh said workers would not accept calls for tax cuts as a substitute for a pay increase.

The demand has already been served on An Post and Eircom and is being examined by the Labour Court.

Irish Independent

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