Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy says workers and citizens interests in NI should be at centre stage

4 Jul 2019

owen reidy -conference

 

The opening debate at the Biennial Delegate Conference related to Northern Ireland and was addressed by  ICTU Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy. Referring to the current political situation in Northern Ireland, Mr Reidy said “every worker whether they are a journalist, a police officer or a prison officer has the right to carry out their work without a threat to their lives”, and linking the tension on the streets to the continued suspension of devolved government:  “We need an urgent return to power-sharing with a new programme for government that puts workers and citizens interests centre stage. We cannot have a return to business as usual”

On Brexit, he told delegates: “The UK government’s approach to Brexit has been chaotic and incoherent from the start. They have exposed themselves as  poor negotiators and have refused to engage meaningfully with social partners”

“Trade Unions support the backstop, not for narrow political reasons, but because it is in the interest of every worker across this island from Ballymena to Belfast and Dublin to Cork whether they are British or Irish”

 Mr. Reidy will conclude his comments with an endorsement of the ongoing Better Work Better Lives campaign: “We need a forum for Social Dialogue in NI now more than ever. We want to engage with the government and others to advance the interests of workers with evidence-based progressive policies.” 

The first-morning session of Conference 2019focused on affairs relating to Northern Ireland including the return of devolved Government, fair employment, the murder of journalist Lyra McKee and nepotism in schools.