Date Released: 30 January 2017
The SIPTU Migrant Workers Support Network held a successful two-day residential training course in Galway last weekend (Friday, 27th January and Saturday, 28th January) which brought together migrant worker activists from ten different nationalities who are working across Ireland.
Among those who attended the two days of training classes held in the Clayton Hotel in Galway were workers originally from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Spain, Hungary, Brazil, Turkey, Malawi, Romania and Italy. The training focused on areas of importance for workplace organising including employment rights, procedures for addressing grievances and collective bargaining.
The group was welcomed to Galway by President of the Galway Council of Trade Unions and SIPTU Organiser, Mark Lohan. He said: “It is crucial that all workers in Ireland know their rights and how to secure them through organising in their workplaces. The aim of the Support Network is to organise and support migrant workers to effectively and fully participate in union activity. Workers regardless of their country of origin have a shared objective in sustaining and improving working conditions.”
SIPTU Galway District Council Secretary, Diane Jackson, said: “It was very encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the migrant activists at the event. Our union has a growing and active migrant worker membership. The Support Network will enable migrant workers to support themselves and their communities.”
SIPTU Galway District Council Vice President, Elizabeth Cloherty, said: “Our District Council intends to work closely with the Support Network over the coming months to build up links between all workers in the city and county. It is important that all workers in the SIPTU Galway District Council area are aware that the union is their to organise and represent them.”
Support Network coordinator, Joanna Ozdarska, said: “The Support Network will enable migrant workers to support themselves and their communities. Support Network activists work in collaboration with like-minded progressive groups and organisations across the community sector and civil society to campaign for a just, inclusive and equal society for all.”
SIPTU Migrant Workers Support Network is supported by the SIPTU Manufacturing Division and SIPTU Services Division.