October 5, 2022
Recommendations on collective bargaining will be judged by implementing legislation – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the recommendations of the High-Level Group on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations will be judged by the “shape and nature of the legislation implementing those recommendations”.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The High-Level Group on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations was established last year by the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF), in advance of a new EU directive requiring each member state to take action to widely expand the percentage of their workers covered by collective bargaining on wage setting.

“The group has worked tirelessly on this task and today their final report was published.

“The report primarily made three recommendations, namely:

  • that the Joint Labour Committees be strengthened to enable an Employment Regulation Order to be implemented;
  • that technical assessors be appointed by the Labour Court to advise the Court in pay comparison claims with the purpose of improving on current mechanisms;  
  • that legislation be introduced to require an employer to engage with a trade union who seeks good faith engagement; and that Circuit Court orders can be sought for implementation where an employer refuses engagement and ignores the Labour Court.

“The need for legislatively protected collective bargaining has never been greater.

“An ideology of neo-liberalism with hugely damaging consequences for workers and families has reigned across Ireland and 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.

“Only by giving workers the tools to bargain for themselves can they have a chance of living decent and happy lives.

“We tentatively welcome the recommendations of the High-Level Group on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations, but the reality is these recommendations will be judged by the shape and nature of the legislation which implements them.”

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