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Posts in the "Ni" category

Workers Cannot Pay the Price for Brexit

Posted on January 27, 2017

Owen Reidy - Owen Reidy, Congress Assistant General Secretary
Owen Reidy
Owen Reidy, Congress Assistant General Secretary

Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy says Brexit negotiations are too important to be left to politicians in Dublin, London or Brussels. This article also features on the TUC's Touchstone Blog

 

The UK Supreme Court judgement has finally clarified the key role of parliament in triggering Article 50.

That judgement reinforced the centrality of elected politicians to decisions that will shape the future of the UK, as opposed to the Prime Minister assuming Royal Prerogative.

At least now MPs will have the opportunity to challenge and oppose the Prime Minister’s determination to leave the EU in a manner almost designed to inflict the maximum damage to Northern Ireland and its neighbours - economically, socially and politically.

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Permanent link | Categories: BrexitNIOwen Reidy

SETTING THE NORTHERN STANDARDS

Posted on April 08, 2016

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

Peter Bunting, Congress Assistant General Secretary looks forward to the Northern Ireland Commitee conference in Derry

We gather in Derry on April 12-13 for our Biennial Delegate Conference  to debate, discuss, take stock and plan for the future.

The key themes for BDC 2016 are Decent Work and  a Fair Income – both in work and in retirement.

These are the essential components of any civilised society, along with the provision of high quality public services that meet every citizen’s needs.

The Congress Charter sets out the key elements required to make Northern Ireland a better place in which to work, live and raise a family. A strong economy cannot exist without a fair society.

The Charter identifies five key principles which I believe can achieve that goal. They are:

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Permanent link | Categories: NICPeter BuntingBDC 2016

EUROPE NEEDS A PAY RISE!

Posted on January 15, 2016

ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini
ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini

Luca Vistentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) argues that the European Union needs investment, wage rises and a healthy dose of solidarity to recover from the current crisis 

 

Europe must do an urgent economic about turn and adopt policies that focus on boosting investment and internal demand.

While there are some signs of recovery there is no significant increase in quality jobs and unemployment remains far too high, with over 22 million in  the EU 28 out of work. 

The reason is obvious: almost every economic policy adopted by European leaders since the onset of crisis has been wrong.

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Permanent link | Categories: EUETUCLuca Visentini

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

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

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

Recognition of Palestinian State Good for Peace Process

Posted on March 18, 2015

Sir Vincent Fean
Sir Vincent Fean

In the aftermath of the Israeli election - won by the Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party - Sir Vincent Fean argues that official recognition of the Palestinian state will bolster efforts to bring a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Sir Vincent served as British Consul-General in Jerusalem from 2010-14. He writes here in a personal capacity.

 

Parliaments across Europe – including both Houses of the Irish Parliament – have moved to revive the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

They have done so by demanding that governments officially recognise Palestine on the 1967 borders with a view to stimulating a negotiated peace deal. 

Sweden’s recognition of Palestine last October can be followed across Europe in 2015.

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Permanent link | Categories: PalestinerecognitionsettlementsIsrael

Freelance Workers to Regain Union Rights

Posted on January 12, 2015

 - Esther Lynch: Legislation & Social Affairs Officer, Irish Congress of Trade Unions

Esther Lynch: Legislation & Social Affairs Officer, Irish Congress of Trade Unions

Esther Lynch, Congress Legislation & Social Affairs Officer

A new ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) may force authorities across Europe to reverse policies that have resulted in the effective denial of full union rights to freelance workers, for over a decade.

The ruling – delivered by the court in December - arises from a case taken by Dutch unions which challenged the classification of freelance musicians as individual business ‘undertakings’.

Under competition law this meant they were not entitled to bargain collectively with their employer.

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Permanent link | Comments (0) | Categories: Freelance WorkersCollective Bargaining