Date Released: 05 July 2013
The Congress Biennial Delegate Conference 2013 in Belfast unanimously passed an emergency motion on Thursday, 4th July, in support of "a vigorous and robust campaign" to bring about the repeal of the Fiscal Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation that applies to public sector workers in the Republic.
The motion reads: “Conference, noting that the Fiscal Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act undermines the principle of collective bargaining in the public sector and concerned that this may set a precedent for the private sector; noting that the legislation provides extraordinary powers to government ministers to unilaterally vary terms and conditions of employment; noting that there is no specified end period for this 'emergency' legislation; and finally noting that this anti trade union legislation has been introduced in the centenary of the 1913 Lockout, calls on the incoming Executive to mount a vigorous and robust campaign against this legislation and anti-worker legislation in both jurisdictions with the goal of seeing it repealed.”
Supporting a campaign for a repeal of the legislation SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor, warned that if it was to succeed it would take more than public protests. He stated that removing the legislation would involve “a good deal more than walking around town” and would need to face down media attempts to turn private sector and unemployed workers against public servants.