Building a Better Future for All - BDC19

28 Jun 2019

BDC 2019 Logo

The Biennial Delegate Conference 2019 of the ICTU #BDC19 will be held next week in a new flagship building at Trinity College Business School, Dublin. The conference runs from the 2nd to 4th of July and it is the first BDC to be held in the city since 1988.

The theme of BDC 19 is “Building a Better Future for All” and Congress General Secretary Patricia King says the slogan underlines “the ongoing struggle to achieve an inclusive economy that combats inequality, rather than reinforcing it”.

The issues to be discussed at the three-day conference include Brexit, the housing crisis, collective bargaining, climate change, and precarious work.  

Guest speakers at the event will include An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and former President Mary Robinson, who will address the conference on the pressing issues of climate change. Channel 4 news anchor and author Matt Frei will speak about the rise of the far right and populism in politics.

The keynote address by General Secretary Patricia King will reflect the big issues facing delegates at BDC19.

The General Secretary said “We absolutely have to transition to a climate-neutral economy.  But this has to be a just, fair and socially balanced transition.  We need a ‘Just Transition Implementation Pathway’, involving workers, to guarantee displaced workers decent opportunities. And our support for an increase in the carbon tax is contingent on the creation of a Climate Justice Fund to guarantee that lower-income households see an increase, not a reduction, in their purchasing power”.

On the housing crisis, Patricia King said “there also needs to be a major shift in housing policy.  We repeat our call for a Local Authority-led construction programme".
She said “Congress continues to have grave concerns about Brexit, especially for the peace process, jobs, incomes, and working conditions. Workers and their families must not pay the price”.

On collective bargaining, the General Secretary said “all workers should enjoy decent work and a decent wage - the most effective way to do this is through collective bargaining”

Motions and amendments reflect concerns about a range of issues.  The first-morning session will focus on affairs relating to Northern Ireland including the return of devolved Government, fair employment, the murder of journalist Lyra McKee and nepotism in schools.  Other motions refer to the right to statutory collective bargaining, precarious work and the exploitation of seafarers.