ICTU President outlines political demands of Irish Trade Unions.

15 Nov 2019


Speaking to the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in L’Derry, ICTU President Gerry Murphy will outline the core demands and expectations of the trade union movement on both sides of the Irish border, during a wide-ranging guest speech to delegates at the Millennium Forum:

“We in the trade union movement north and south have sought to build consensus and work with others with whom we may not have always agreedIn this work, we have promoted the ICTU policy position on Brexit as we seek to ensure workers don’t pay the price of Brexit.”

“Brexit has also re-invigorated that other, important debate, concerning our island’s future. Congress’s position is that we support the Good Friday Agreement and accept that the future of the island is a matter for the people of this island to decide. We in the trade union movement will engage in the debate, in a manner that respects the views of our diverse membership and represents what we believe to be the best way forward for all our people.”

Thanking SF representatives for their support and co-operation on several trade union campaigns such as housing and fair pay, and in particular, the NIC-ICTU Better Work Better Lives campaign. Mr Murphy will continue:

“Central to the campaign is our demand for a forum for Social Dialogue. A forum whereby we can bring coherent, progressive and well-researched policies to the table and engage with government and others to promote the interests of working people.

“We have received support from many Sinn Fein MLAs, MPs and councillors, and we are grateful to you. We look forward to taking this proposal forward in a restored Stormont Assembly. An Assembly that values the 1998 Agreement, and is led by an NI Executive focused on economic and social progress for all of our people, with Human Rights & Equality as its core principles.

Looking forward, Mr Murphy will give notice to delegates of emerging trade union appeals for public and political support on industrial action and strikes for pay justice and also for collective bargaining rights for all workers:

“The most pressing issue for the trade union movement in the Republic is the ongoing denial by the state of a workers most basic right; to be a member of a union that collectively bargains for you. Congress is engaged in a crusade both nationally and at EU level to correct this.

“It is our sincere hope that should Sinn Fein participate in the next government in the Republic, that you will deliver for the workers and right this wrong with legislation. A party of government prepared to legislate for collective bargaining would provide a tonic for workers and the economy of this island into the future.”