Date Released: 24 November 2016
Delegates at the SIPTU Services Division Biennial Delegate Conference were told today (Thursday, 24th November) that the union will not rest until the former staff of Clerys Department Store in Dublin secure justice for the sudden loss of their jobs last year.
Addressing over 200 delegates and observers on the first day of the conference, SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “This union will not rest until the law is changed so that what happened to the Clerys workers can never be repeated and we extract justice from the new owner.”
She added: “This union stands four square behind the Clerys workers and the country stands four square behind this union on this issue. The tide of public opinion is turning towards solidarity between working people.”
On the issue of the wider threats to workers’ rights, Buckley, said: “Trump and Brexit are neither accidental, nor separate, but form part of a dangerous trend that is openly - explicitly – setting out to undo many of the achievements and protections for which the global trade union movement has fought.”
She added: “Much of the commentary in this country has been of the ‘it couldn’t possibly happen here’ variety but in reviewing the last two years we are reminded of the actions of individuals and companies whose absolute audacity, driven by pure greed, would make even Donald Trump blush.”
Buckley welcomed a new Employment Regulation Order in the cleaning industry. She said this had only been secured due to a campaign by SIPTU members and would result in major pay increases and improvements in conditions for tens of thousands of workers across the country.
The first day of the conference also saw awards presented to members of the Justice for Clerys Workers campaign group and an address by leading Australian trade unionist, Michael Crosby. The conference continues tomorrow (Friday, 25th November).