Congress Blog

My new life as a young Syrian refugee in Ireland

Posted on May 08, 2019

syria
syria

My name is Taqwa Alhariry.  I am a 27-year-old student, who escaped the savage war in Syria to live in Ireland with my mother and sisters.

I came here with my two sisters, Sarra (19), Maisa (22) and my mother Fatima. We were later joined by my third sister Amira (17), who came from Turkey, and we now live together in Enniscorthy, County Wexford. A fourth sister, Shaima is living in Belgium.  We are originally from Daraa city in Syria and I am currently studying Cambridge English in Dublin so as I can enter a university in Ireland.

I originally came from Syria and used to live with my family in Daraa city. 

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Permanent link | Categories: Human Rights

Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019 - What does it all mean?

Posted on April 10, 2019

Gender Pay Gap IRL
Gender Pay Gap IRL

Earlier this week, the Government published the long awaited Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2019. The Act will amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 to require regulations to be made that will require certain employers to publish information in relation to the gender pay gap in their organisations.

The issue of mandatory reporting of gender pay gaps within organisations has been on the Congress agenda for a number of years now:

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10th Global Solidarity Summer School

Posted on July 23, 2018

David Joyce: International Development Officer
David Joyce: International Development Officer

Building our Power – Organising for Global Solidarity

10th Annual Global Solidarity Summer School

Congress looks forward to welcoming everyone to Derry for our 10th annual Global Solidarity Summer School – Building our Power – Organising for Global Solidarity

Over 80 trade union delegates from right across the island, North and South will gather to discuss the movement’s global solidarity work and to hear from a range of national and international speakers.  Kevin Callinan, Congress Vice President, will welcome people to Derry and give the Opening Address.

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Permanent link | Categories: solidarity

Address by Michael D.Higgins, President of Ireland - At the World of Work Summit held at the 107th Session of the International Labour Conference

Posted on June 14, 2018

Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland
Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland

'The International Labour Orgainsation - its noble origins, its new challenges, and its potential global role as catalyst'

Address by Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland - At the World of Work Summit held at the 107th Session of the International Labour Conference Geneva, Switerland

7th June, 2018

Please see the version of the speech given by President Higgins here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Workers' Rights in Ireland under Scrutiny at International Labour Forum

Posted on May 25, 2018

ILO Logo - International Labour Organisation
ILO Logo
International Labour Organisation

David Joyce outlines the key issues that Congress will be raising at the forthcoming 107th Session of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). David will represent Congress at the ILO’s annual gathering

Some reflections from the 107th International Labour Conference (ILC) (added 12 June)

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Permanent link | Categories: ILODecent Work

‘Remember the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living’

Posted on April 10, 2018

Mother Jones
Mother Jones

Frank Vaughan of Congress reflects on the importance of Workers’ Memorial Day and what unions can do to help mark the event this year

It was the passing of the Occupational Safety & Health Act in the United States more than 45 years ago that paved the way for what we now know as Workers’ Memorial Day.

The ground-breaking legislation sought to ensure that employers provided workers with an environment free from recognised hazards, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions.

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Permanent link | Categories: Workers Memorial Day 2018

Removing Barriers to Progress for People with Disabilities

Posted on January 30, 2018

Fergus Finlay
Fergus Finlay

Ahead of the annual Congress Disability Seminar, Fergus Finlay - chair of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy Implementation Group - looks at how we can make decent work a reality for people with disabilities

Just over two years ago the Government announced a comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities. It was very far-reaching and extensive and was designed to be implemented over a period of years. Ever since then, I have been chairing an implementation group, which consists of representatives of government departments, the disability sector, and the world of work – especially the Irish Congress of Trade unions.

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Permanent link | Categories: Disability Seminar

The Business of Human Rights

Posted on December 19, 2017

Qatar and human rights - Protest at Qatar's failure to uphold workers rights
Qatar and human rights
Protest at Qatar's failure to uphold workers rights

David Joyce looks a closer look at Ireland's first National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

The first National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights finally saw the light of day, in late 2017. The Human Rights Unit in the Department of Foreign Affairs is to be commended for its work in developing the plan and getting Government approval.  You can view a range of civil society responses to the plan here but for a trade union perspective on it read on…

The National Plan’s stated aim is:

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Permanent link | Categories: human rightsglobal solidarity

Can the EU Social Summit Deliver for Working People?

Posted on November 16, 2017

Esther Lynch - ETUC Confederal Secretary
Esther Lynch
ETUC Confederal Secretary

As the Social Summit opens in Gothenburg, the ETUC's Esther Lynch asks if the EU can deliver real gains for working people

‘Fair Jobs and Growth’ is a key focus of the much-heralded Social Summit in Gothenburg, a theme that many feel has been long neglected by an EU more concerned with fiscal rules than the well-being of working people.

And there is something concrete and worthwhile to discuss: President Juncker’s European Pillar of Social Rights.

The Pillar comprises 20 commitments and rights including “the right to fair wages”, the right to a high level of health and safety protection at work and “the right to adequate social protection.”

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Permanent link | Categories: Social PillarETUC

Are Young People Hostile to Trade Unions?

Posted on October 19, 2017

Love Unions - Promoting trade unions
Love Unions
Promoting trade unions

Kurt Vandaele, Senior Researcher at the European Trade Union Institute, looks at how young workers can be attracted into trade unions 

 

The percentage of employees paying union dues has almost universally declined across Europe in recent decades. Moreover, much of the unions’ existing membership base is generally ‘greying’, with many members aged in their mid-40s to early 50s, as Figure 1 below shows.

 

 Fig 1: Median Age of Union Members

 Figure 1. Median age of union members in 2014 and its change compared to 2004 in Europe. Source: European Social Survey. The original survey question refers to membership of a union or similar organisation. *Italy: 2012 data.

 

In terms of organising, young people are considered to be the most ‘problematic’ of the different categories of under-represented groups in unions.

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Permanent link | Categories: YouthTrade UnionsETUI

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