SIPTU plays a major role in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions - in the belief that the more unity we can achieve on policy matters and strategy, then the more influence we are likely to bring to bear within wider society. The principle that unity is strength applies at every level - in the work place, in the local area or at national level - and the Union tries to develop a spirit of co-operation among SIPTU members, themselves, and between SIPTU members and the members of other unions.

In many employments where workers are represented by more than one union, there are joint union negotiating committees, works councils or other structures. As a general rule, the Union welcomes every opportunity to present as united a front as possible. In many towns and cities, the local Branches and Sectors of the various trade unions co-ordinate their activities on matters of common concern through a Trade Union Council (commonly known as a Trades Council). SIPTU is to the fore in most of the Trades Councils operating in Ireland.

At national level the Irish Congress of Trade Unions brings together 55 trade unions on the island. Through the ICTU, the trade union movement tries to develop and express a common position on matters of national concern such as employment creation, unemployment, health, education and social welfare, industrial relations reform and so on. Congress also monitors the industrial activities of unions - especially where strikes are likely. Congress offers a channel for solidarity and support - as well as the services of its own industrial relations staff in seeking to resolve the issues in dispute.


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