Date Released: 08 October 2015
The SIPTU National Delegate Biennial Conference on Thursday (8th October) voted to support a once-off, time-bound regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants in Ireland.
Delegates voted unanimously in favour of a motion proposed by the SIPTU Equality Committee calling on the union to participate in a broad based “campaign aimed at convincing Government to introduce a once-off, time-bound regularisation scheme, with transparent and fair criteria.”
SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “Undocumented workers are overwhelming represented in low and minimum wage jobs in the services sector such as hospitality, security and cleaning. A regularisation scheme with fair and transparent criteria will encourage workers out of the shadows and enable them to enjoy the protections which should be available to all workers in Ireland”.
She added: “The majority of undocumented workers are resident in Ireland for over five years. It is time that their position is regularised both to protect the human rights of these workers and to prevent the further erosion of conditions for all workers employed in precarious sectors.”
Among those who observed the debate at the SIPTU Conference was Jayson Montenegro, a founder member of the Justice for the Undocumented campaign.
He said: “This is a great outcome for our campaign which was set up with the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. Today, we feel the solidarity and power of the tens of thousands of SIPTU members across Ireland who will help us bring about change. Documenting undocumented workers will help prevent all worker exploitation. It means we can stand up for our rights in the workplace without fear.”
Migrant Rights Centre Ireland spokesperson, Helen Lowry, said: “That the motion was unanimously passed by delegates is a huge thumbs up from the country’s largest trade union for our campaign. The pressure is now on publicly and politically for a regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants”.
The SIPTU Biennial National Delegate Conference took place in City Hall, Cork, from Monday (5th October) until (Thursday, 8th October).