Proposed collective bargaining legislation “substantial advance for union rights”

Trade unions have welcomed today’s announcement of new legislation to strengthen trade union bargaining rights. ICTU general secretary David Begg said that, once enacted, the proposed legislation would “constitute a substantial advance for trade union rights in Ireland.”

Mr Begg said the proposed legislation, agreed by the Cabinet this morning, appeared to “deal with all the key issues and concerns from a trade union point of view.”

The proposals, to amend the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001, will fulfil a Programme for Government commitmentto bring Irish law in line with recent European Court of Justice rulings.

IMPACT said the proposals will significantly strengthen the ability of trade unions to protect workers in companies that refuse to engage in collective bargaining. General secretary Shay Cody said: “This long-overdue legislation will allow trade unions to engage in collective bargaining and secure benefits for workers in companies where employers refuse to pay the going rate. It also gives statutory protection against the victimisation of workers in such companies for the first time.”