Kevin Callinan, the deputy general secretary of IMPACT trade union, has today (Tuesday) been re-elected as ICTU Vice President. Speaking after the announcement, Mr Callinan said his priority over the next two years would be to prioritise an all-island approach to Brexit, while working for a more egalitarian society based on a dynamic economy. He said he would also work maximise cross-party political support for trade union principles and values in Ireland, north and south.
“I want to see trade unions the centre of a debate on the development of an indigenous enterprise sector that reflects the needs of our young people, whatever their talents, as workers and citizens. We must also be at the forefront of relating economic and employment policy to broader global questions like climate change and the future of work,” he said.
Mr Callinan said he would work to unite trade unions around core principles and values, including through the promotion of organising and effective collective bargaining strategies. “I will focus on the imperative for investment in public services and other infrastructure, and highlight the scale of wealth and income inequality in our society. This means addressing the decimation of private sector pension provision and intervening in the debate on the future of Europe to demand a more democratic and socially just European Union,” he said.
Mr Callinan said he wanted to breathe fresh life into the work and recommendations of the Commission on the Irish Trade Union movement by supporting the reinvention of local Trades Councils, cross-union collaboration on organising, education and training, and youth engagement campaigns. He said the recent ‘One Cork’ project was an example of how this could be done by unions working together.
Kevin Callinan was appointed Deputy General Secretary of Ireland’s largest public service union, IMPACT, in 2010. He also has executive responsibility for the union’s Education Division and organising work. He was first elected as ICTU Vice President in 2015. He is a member of the Executive Board of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), and represents ICTU on the National Competitiveness Council. Mr Callinan was previously National Secretary of IMPACT’s Health and Welfare Division for 12 years. He has also represented IMPACT members in local government and the civil service.