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Archive for 2014

Is the TTIP deal an assault on democracy or an engine for global economic growth?

Posted on December 22, 2014


Is the TTIP deal an assault on democracy or an engine for global economic growth?

Presentations below from our December 10 2014 seminar on the controversial trade deal, featuring keynote speakers from the United States and Europe. Further useful resources below also

Advocates of the proposed trade deal between the US and EU claim it will generate global growth and signifiacnt job creation. But an ever-growing list of opponents - including US and EU unions - point out that TTIP could result in national governments being unable to enact progressive legislation for fear of being sued for compensation by major corporations, along with the wholesale privatisation of public services and a further watering down of workers' rights.

Among the keynote speakers were:

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The EU Council conclusions on the role of private sector in development overlook decent work and social dialogue

Posted on December 18, 2014

The EU Council conclusions on the role of private sector in development overlook decent work and social dialogue. On 12th December, European Foreign Affairs Council adopted a second set of conclusions on the role of the private sector in international development. The document follows the EU Commission’s communication, released on 13th May 2014, and the first set of Council conclusions, published on 24th June 2014.
Trade Unions are deeply disappointed that the promotion of decent work (and its four pillars), as fundamental component of sustainable development, has been overlooked in the conclusions. The notion of “decent jobs” quoted in the document, is not sufficient to reflect the rights-based approach of the decent work agenda, including the ILO standards and conventions, as binding commitments, collective bargaining and social dialogue.

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Business and Human Rights

Posted on November 06, 2014


Congress is pleased to be participating in the Department of Foreign Affairs Forum on Business and Human Rights in Dublin Castle tomorrow. (7 Nov 2014)

The theme is a welcome one and among the speakers is Dwight Justice from the ITUC

Dwight will be presenting a trade union perspective on the theme, informed by these documents:

ITUC Guide for union on UN Framework;

Joint paper on due diligence and Freedom of Association;

Civil society organisation will be present tomorrow and have contributed to a series of blogs on the topic in the run up to the event.

Why not follow the event on Twitter? #HumanRightsIrl @humanrightsirl

David Joyce is also speaking at the event and will be tweeting from @djoyce18

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Day of Action for Cambodia

Posted on September 17, 2014

Publication cover - cambodia_global_day_of_action_poster_a4 - Cover image for cambodia_global_day_of_action_poster_a4
Cover image for cambodia_global_day_of_action_poster_a4

In early October, the Labour Advisory Committee in Cambodia is to announce a new minimum wage for workers in the garment, textile and footwear industry, which generates US$5 billion in revenue for the country. At this critical juncture, a coalition of Cambodian garment unions has called for international solidarity to support their demands for a raise in the minimum wage from US$100 to US$177 a month. 

IndustriALL Global Union, the ITUC and UNI Global Union are jointly asking affiliates to join Cambodian unions in a Day of Action on today 17 September and organize protests at Cambodian embassies to demand a living wage for garment workers.  

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The Case against Qatar hosting FIFA World Cup 2022

Posted on July 29, 2014

RERun picCongress will be presenting the case against Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Mother Jones Festival in Cork today 30 July 2014.

You can view ITUC video about conditions for migrant workers in Qatar here

The campaign website Rerun the Vote !

Full presentation here

New Guardian expose: Trapped in Qatar: The Migrants who helped build "Tower of Football"

Wrong time to ratify EU/Colombian Free Trade Agreement!

Posted on May 28, 2014

Ratification of the EU/Colombian Free Trade Agreement will be before the Dáil in the coming weeks. Please add your name to this petition to tell our TD’s & Senators that it is the wrong time to approve this agreement.

Murders, disappearances; threats & intimidation of trade unionists, human rights defenders and lawyers continue unabated. Colombia is still the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist.


Ran Plaza 1 year on

Posted on April 30, 2014

It is now over one year since the terible disaster killed 1138 people in Rana Plaza, Dhaka, Bangladesh.  What has changed?

John Rana PlazaA full list of companies that have contributed to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund can be found here and a full list of companies that have signed the Accord can be found here.

Congress participated in a Clean Clothes Campaign Event to mark the Anniversary in Grafton Street last week

Tailored Wages – new report investigates clothing brands’ work on living wages

Posted on April 01, 2014

Publication cover - TailoredWages-Ireland MARCH2014 (1) - Cover image for TailoredWages-Ireland MARCH2014 (1)
Cover image for TailoredWages-Ireland MARCH2014 (1)

A Survey of 39 leading clothing brands on the Irish high-street show they must do much more to ensure garment workers receive a wage they can live on. The Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland have launched ‘Tailored Wages’ an in depth study of what the leading 39 clothing brands on the Irish and European high-street are doing to ensure that the workers who produce the clothes they sell are paid a living wage. Based on a multi brand survey “Tailored Wages” found that whilst half of those surveyed included wording in their codes of conduct saying that wages should be enough to meet workers' basic needs; only four brands – Inditex (Zara), Marks & Spencers, Switcher and Tchibo - were able to show any clear steps towards implementing this – and even they have a long way to go before a living wage becomes a reality for the garment workers that produce for them.

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Release Kim Jung-woo

Posted on March 20, 2014

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Amnesty International Ireland have written to, Park, Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Kim Jung-woo, who was detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of association. We also call for the government to recognise the right of trade unionists to carry out their work without harassment or arrest, in accordance with international human rights law. Full letter here

Trade Missions and Human Rights

Posted on February 18, 2014

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

Following the January controversy regarding the lack of a human rights dimension to the Irish Government trade mission to the gulf, Congress wrote to the Taoiseach expressing our concern. The letter concluded that: "One could draw the conclusion that Ireland’s trade interests are now to trump our human rights commitments. I trust that this is not in fact the case and that the current review of our foreign policy will reiterate such a stance and perhaps begin to develop policy and mechanisms to ensure the integration of our trade and human rights concerns in future trade delegation visits."

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