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FIRST STEPS

Posted on March 16, 2016

Dr Peter Rigney
Dr Peter Rigney

Dr. Peter Rigney looks at the problems that bedevil childcare in Ireland and outlines how we can move to a high-quality, acessible and affordable model

‘Policy failure’ is a polite term used to describe the inability or unwillingness of governments and assorted lawmakers to deliver solutions to pressing problems, or to anticipate and avert disaster.

The banking crisis and our resulting economic collapse was a policy failure of epic proportions, even if a succession of inquiries and reports has, as yet, failed to apportion blame and suitable punishment.

The homeless crisis is another, more recent example of a systemic political inability to act decisively when there is pressing and obvious social need.

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Permanent link | Categories: Childcaresocial policy

YES EQUALITY!

Posted on March 07, 2016

Patricia King Womens Conference
Patricia King Womens Conference

To mark International Women’s Day, Congress General Secretary Patricia King looks at how far we have to go to achieve real equality

 

Gender inequality remains a persistent feature of life on this island.

Women are disadvantaged in work and still carry a disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work.  Women are also severely underrepresented in the political, economic and administrative systems.   

Women are specifically referenced in the Irish Constitution - but there is no reference to gender equality and no reference to fathers. 

The highly controversial 8th Amendment recognises foetal rights as equal to the rights of pregnant women. Consequently, provisions for women’s reproductive health are highly restrictive. 

 

But women are over-represented among people on Low Pay and in precarious work.  

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Permanent link | Categories: International Women's DayEqualityGender Pay Gap

IS THERE ANY ROOM FOR WORKERS IN THE FISCAL SPACE?

Posted on February 08, 2016

Patricia King - Congress General Secretary
Patricia King
Congress General Secretary

General Secretary Patricia King looks at issues of concern for workers ahead of General Election 2016

At the peak of the housing bubble, one television advertisement caught the public imagination and became a part of everyday conversation.

It featured a commuter on a bus who gets to his feet and nervously admits: “I don’t know what a tracker mortgage is.”

The advertisement worked because it tapped into a general sense of bewilderment at the range and complexity of financial products then on offer, each one promising greater riches than the last.

As we now know, people were right to be both bewildered and suspicious, while those who designed these complex financial offerings were proven to be disastrously wrong.

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SAYING NO TO €350 MILLION

Posted on January 29, 2016

Niall Crowley - Convenor with Claiming our Future
Niall Crowley
Convenor with Claiming our Future

Niall Crowley puts the case for the Financial Transaction Tax

We have the soap up and running. Rebellion has been playing, with mixed reviews, to big audiences. We’ve already had the first of the pomp and ceremonies in Dublin Castle. Our political leadership got the chance to mix it with the military in all solemnity. We’ve got that feeling going again, the drug of independence is running in our veins.

But the high never lasts too long. Something will always arrive to spoil it. If it’s not multinational tax loopholes, it’s Shannon airport and US military aircraft landings.

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RESURRECTING FRANCO

Posted on January 22, 2016

Esther Lynch:   - ETUC Confederal Secretary
Esther Lynch:
ETUC Confederal Secretary

ETUC Confederal Secretary Esther Lynch on the strange case of the Spanish workers known as the ‘Airbus 8’, who face trial next month on charges brought under a Franco era statute

Even now, four decades after his death, the ghost of Franco still haunts Spanish public and political life.

In 2011, a map revealing the existence of more than 2000 mass graves containing over 120,000 victims of Franco’s ‘White Terror’ was published by the Spanish government. 

To date, only a small minority of those graves have been excavated. 

In addition, it is estimated that a further 20,000 died in the purges and revenge killings that began with the triumph of Franco’s Falangist forces, in 1939.

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Permanent link | Categories: Right to StrikeFracoSpainAirbus 8

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

NO JOBS ON A DEAD PLANET (UPDATED)

Posted on December 11, 2015

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

(57 blog posts)