Deputy General Secretary - Public Service: John King

John King

“Our union must retain the capacity to influence the conditions under which members work and live. In order to achieve this we must build density and work with our allies in the trade union movement and wider society.”

In 1993, John was appointed as a full time SIPTU official having begun his work with the union five years earlier in an administrative capacity. Since then he has gained extensive experience representing the interests of members across the Private, Public and Community Sectors in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Initially appointed to represent members in County Tipperary, he later worked with the Women Workers’ Branch before taking responsibility for the Dundalk Branch and subsequently the wider North East Region including the Newry Branch. During this period he gained a crucial insight into the differences and similarities between issues affecting SIPTU members in both jurisdictions and across numerous types of employments.

As part of the major restructuring of the union in 2010, John was appointed to the role of Services Division Organiser. This saw him take a lead in defending the interests of tens of thousands of members, many low paid, in industries that were among the worst affected by the economic crisis.

In response to the onslaught against workers’ living standards, John helped formulate and lead the SIPTU campaign for the enactment of legislation to restore the Joint Labour Committee system. He was also a leading member of the Coalition to Protect the Lower Paid that successfully campaigned for the reversal of the cut imposed on the National Minimum Wage.

In 2015, he took over the responsibilities of Public Administration and Community Division Organiser. In this role he was among the trade union leadership team which negotiated the Public Sector Agreement 2015 – 2018 (Lansdowne Road Agreement) and its extension. John is currently Chair of the ICTU Community Sector Committee and plays the lead role in advocating for the rights of Community Sector Workers at the Government High Level Forum for the Sector established in 2015.

Throughout his union career, John has worked to motivate shop stewards and activists and ensure that the vital role they play in developing the union is fully recognised. This resulted in his chairing of the SIPTU Shop Steward Forum Group, the outcome of which helped to inform the Membership Consultative Initiative to guarantee this vital group’s concerns will be to the fore in the implementation of the recommendations which emerged from this process.

Born in Dublin, John lives with his family in Drogheda, County Louth.

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