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NEW YEAR, SAME OLD TORIES

Posted on January 07, 2016

Owen Tudor - Head of the TUC’s European Union & International Relations Department
Owen Tudor
Head of the TUC’s European Union & International Relations Department

The TUC's Owen Tudor reports on the UK government's ongoing assault on union rights and why Valentine's Day may be a little different this year

On Monday (11 January), the UK’s House of Lords began detailed consideration of the government’s Trade Union Bill, the latest attempt to relive the Thatcherite dream of 'taking on' the trade unions and restricting our ability to defend workers’ rights and public services.

The Bill emerged largely unscathed from the House of Commons before Christmas, although the government was forced to concede some ground on the more alarming attacks on the right to strike – such as the Orwellian requirement that unions should advise the police and employers of union social media strategies (but not vice versa.)

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Permanent link | Categories: union rightsTUCright to strikeTory government

NO JOBS ON A DEAD PLANET (UPDATED)

Posted on December 11, 2015

DJ Pic - David Joyce
DJ Pic
David Joyce

David Joyce looks at the COP21 Summit in Paris and the implications for workers. This blog has been updated in light of the deal reached in Paris and the response from international trade union federations (see below)

Following the passage of motions (44 & 45) at our Biennial Delegate Conference in July, Congress joined with union colleagues from across the globe in support of the People’s Climate Marches that took place ahead of the COP21 Summit in Paris.

Both the International Trade Union Confederation and the European Trade Union Confederation have been actively engaged in the process, putting the demands of working people on the agenda with the timely reminder that ‘There are no Jobs on a Dead Planet.’

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Permanent link | Categories: COP21ParisClimate ChangeEnvironment

THE REAL COST OF BOGUS SELF EMPLOYMENT

Posted on December 04, 2015

Launch of False Economy Briefing: - Pictured are General Secretary Patricia King and report author Fergus Whelan
Launch of False Economy Briefing:
Pictured are General Secretary Patricia King and report author Fergus Whelan

Fergus Whelan asks who gains and who loses from this growing practice

 

You could do a lot with €640 million.

At a very minimum, you’d imagine a sum of this magnitude would ensure our housing crisis was a thing of the past.

Or that the shocking sight of senior citizens being forced to endure days and nights on trolleys in Accident & Emergency departments across the country, might be consigned to history.

But it seems we don’t need the money.

That at least is one of the conclusions that could be drawn from the newly-published Congress Briefing False Economy: The Growth of Bogus Self-Employment in the Construction Industry.  

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Permanent link | Categories: Bogus self employmentFraudConstruction

STARTING OVER?

Posted on November 26, 2015

Peter Bunting - Peter Bunting addresses the 2015 ETUC Conference on situation in Northern Ireland
Peter Bunting
Peter Bunting addresses the 2015 ETUC Conference on situation in Northern Ireland

Assistant General Secretary Peter Bunting outlines initial reactions to the Fresh Start Agreement in Northern Ireland

On  November 17, the Fresh Start agreement was signed off by the UK and Irish governments and the two largest parties on the Northern Ireland Executive.

At the time of writing, the trade union movement in Northern Ireland is consulting with political parties, other civil society organisations and our affiliates.

The agreement has the support of the US Administration and every business group has welcomed it, especially as it includes a pledge to cut Corporation Tax to the same level as that which obtains in the Irish Republic by 2018 (although, as is well known, the effective CT rate paid by several multinationals is considerably less than the 12.5% headline rate.  

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Permanent link | Categories: NIC-ICTUStormontFresh StartWelfare

WE ARE IRISH LIFE!

Posted on November 19, 2015

Michael Taft - Research Officer, UNITE
Michael Taft
Research Officer, UNITE

Michael Taft of UNITE the union on why Irish Life staff have been forced into a dispute with their employer


Today, November 19 marks the third in a series of stoppages being undertaken by hundreds of Irish Life workers against their employer.

At stake are three inter-related issues:

  • the company’s attempt to impose a new pay-bargaining structure,
  • the persistence of poverty pay in Irish Life, and
  • management’s unilateral attempts to decide which employees it will bargain with and which it won’t.

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Permanent link | Categories: Irish LifeUNITEPaydiispute

CLERYS WORKERS DEMAND JUSTICE & DIGNITY

Posted on November 13, 2015

Ethel Buckley - Divisional Organiser, SIPTU Services Division
Ethel Buckley
Divisional Organiser, SIPTU Services Division

SIPTU's Ethel Buckley on the continuing injustice done to Clerys workers

 

What are Deirdre Foley, John Skelly and Ronan Daly so afraid of?

They are the directors of Natrium Ltd, the shadowy company that shut Clerys on June 12, resulting in over 400 job losses.

Five months on, not one of the three has agreed to meet with the workers whose livelihoods they so abruptly destroyed.

As Clerys worker and SIPTU shop steward Gerry Markey explained:  “We are asking Deirdre Foley and the other new owners to meet us face-to-face. My colleagues and I think that after our many years of loyal service to the company we deserve to be treated with respect.

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Permanent link | Categories: Justice for ClerysNatriumSiptu

THE HIGH COST OF LOW HOURS WORK

Posted on November 05, 2015

Patricia King - Congress General Secretary
Patricia King
Congress General Secretary

Congress General Secretary Patricia King on the damage done by low hours work practices

Almost as soon as key details from the new study on low hours work found their way onto the front page of the Irish Times, employer and business interests were busy claiming vindication. 

No problem with zero hour contracts in Ireland. Case closed, nothing to see here. 

In fact, the very morning these details appeared, I attended a gathering at which employer representatives made that very claim. 

It was a clever, if somewhat dishonest attempt to obscure a reality that is actually far more troubling and damaging than it may at first appear. 

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Permanent link | Categories: Low PayLow HoursZero Hours

TORY AGENDA ON EUROPE THREATENS RIGHTS OF ALL WORKERS

Posted on October 30, 2015

Owen Tudor - Head of the TUC’s European Union & International Relations Department
Owen Tudor
Head of the TUC’s European Union & International Relations Department

By Owen Tudor*

 

The TUC has long been committed to the model of Social Europe as outlined by Jacques Delors.

The deal he set out is still the only deal in town: a free trade area, but not unfettered free trade In other words:

  • Rights at work to counterbalance the right to trade,
  • Free movement of labour, goods and capital,
  • Decent work with social dialogue, social protection and public services ,
  • And a successful, competitive economy in which wealth is shared fairly.

And what we got in the early years was pretty much what Delors promised.

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Permanent link | Categories: ETUCBrexitEuropean UnionTUC

WHO’S AFRAID OF DENIS O’BRIEN?

Posted on October 02, 2015

Seamus Dooley - NUJ Irish Secretary, Seamus Dooley outside the Charlie Hebdo offices, Paris
Seamus Dooley
NUJ Irish Secretary, Seamus Dooley outside the Charlie Hebdo offices, Paris

NUJ IRISH SECRETARY SEAMUS DOOLEY ASKS WHY THE GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED TO TACKLE MEDIA MONOPOLIES

 

While it is now Congress policy to support the establishment of a Commission on the Future of the Media in Ireland, I am not naïve enough to believe that it will top the agenda at many union meetings.  

This follows the passing of a motion from the NUJ at Biennial Delegate Conference 2015, in July.

Concepts of media diversity and plurality seem removed from the lives of most citizens but the ownership and control of the media - the shaping of news and public opinion - has a very direct impact on all of us.

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Permanent link | Categories: mediadenis o'brienmonopoly

Indifference and Incompetence behind Irish Pension Crisis

Posted on June 24, 2015

Fergus Whelan - Industrial Officer, Congress
Fergus Whelan
Industrial Officer, Congress

Several hundred thousand people at work in Ireland today will be far worse off in retirement than they had either planned or expected to be. Many will slide in to poverty, others will barely make ends meet.

But this will not happen because they failed to make adequate provision for their retirement.

Instead a perfect storm of official indifference and incompetence in financial institutions have served to ensure that many will now experience unnecessary hardship in their old age.

Over recent years, the Irish funded pension system has been overtaken by a catastrophic crisis. But of more pressing concern is the lack of any official recognition – on the part of government or the Pensions’ Authority - at the scale, extent or even existence of this crisis.

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Permanent link | Comments (0) | Categories: PensionsDefined ContributionDefined BenefitPensions' Authority

(41 blog posts)