Press Release

SIPTU President Jack O’Connor announces union campaign for decent work

Date Released: 05 October 2015

SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor has announced that the union is to organise a major campaign against low wages and exploitative work practices and contracts.

‌In his opening address to the SIPTU Biennial Delegate Conference in City Hall, Cork today (Monday, 5th October), Jack O’Connor  said that the campaign for decent work will include lobbying all political parties to include a commitment to fair employment rules in their forthcoming election manifestos.

“As well as continuing with our work to win pay increases across the economy, we will be launching a new campaign for decent work. This will go on for as long as it takes,” Jack O’Connor told almost 400 delegates attending the conference.

“It will be designed to encourage and equip the people who are lowest paid and most exploited to organise to assert their right to a decent job, a decent dividend and a decent life.    

“We will be intensely lobbying all of the political parties to clearly commit in their election manifestos to the concept of Fair Employment Rules as envisaged in Section 11 of the Industrial Relations Act 1969, in respect of sectors where the employers refuse to co-operate with the now re-established Joint Labour Committee (JLC) infrastructure.”

The SIPTU president also called for “the development of a society where every person has a right to a fully comprehensive modern health service that is free at the point of use, a right to decent housing, proper childcare, fully comprehensive free education, a decent job with a living wage and proper care when they become old and infirm.” He said if economic growth continues at the expected 3% per annum over the medium term such concepts are no longer “remote possibilities”.

“Our economy will generate the resources that are necessary to enable all of this to happen, incrementally, over the next seven years, enabling its accomplishment by the centenary of the founding of this State.  Of course, it means taking brave decisions. It means at times standing against the tide. It means, for example, prioritising investment in public health, housing, education, eldercare and childcare over cutting taxes. It could well mean forgetting about tax cuts altogether for a period of five to seven years if the economy fails to grow at an average rate of 3% in real terms.

“Such a project is entirely feasible. It could be entitled, for example, Agenda 2022. It would replace our legacy of boom and bust, exponentially growing inequality, sectarian strife and recurring periods of mass unemployment and emigration with an all-island concept of a sustainable society underpinned by a sustainable economy and fair taxation.”

To read Jack O'Connor full speech to the SIPTU Biennial Delegate Conference 2015 click on the following link:

Jack O'Connor speech BDC 2015


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