Speaking today at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Irish Government to legislate for the human right to collective bargaining, in line with Article 28 of the European Social Charter.
Speaking on a debate on the strategic priorities for the Council of Europe, Senator Gavan said”
“Collective bargaining means workers have a greater voice in the workplace, it means better representation to defend workers, and means better negotiation for better working conditions.
“In other European countries collective bargaining is seen as a basic right, but this has been denied to workers by successive Irish governments.
“I particularly welcome today the recommendation that the European Social Charter become a strategic priority of the Council of Europe, and I fully support the call for all Member States to not just sign this, but to fully live up to this document which contains the right to collective bargaining.
“An ideology of neo-liberalism with hugely damaging consequences for workers and families has reigned across Europe for too long.
“We have witnessed a race to the bottom in terms and conditions of work, an increase in low paid work and the marginalisation of trade unions and workplace democracy. Workers’ rights must be given priority and firm legal protections enacted, otherwise workers will continue to suffer.
“How much longer will Irish workers have to wait before they have the human right to collective bargaining established in law, to give them a voice that other European workers have as a basic right.”