The Irish Congress of Trade Unions revealed last week it had found overwhelming support for its Charter for Fair Conditions at Work among political parties, with Labour, Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, the Social Democrats and socialist deputies signing up, while there was little or no support for the Charter from either Fine Gael or Renua.
The Congress Charter for Fair Conditions at Work set out five key principles to help make decent work a reality: a Living Wage, Fair Hours of Work, the Right to Union Representation, the Right to Respect in the workplace and Fair Public Procurement.
Over the last number of months, Congress has engaged with all political parties and groupings, along with many individual TDs, senators and MEPs in order to build support for the Charter.
The Labour Party, Féin, Fianna Fáil, the Social Democrats and Socialist deputies fully supported the Charter and signed up to its principles.
However, just 7% (seven) of Fine Gael deputies agreed to support the Charter and Renua declined.
Support among the Independents/ Technical Group was just over 70%, with many declining to support.
Congress General Secretary Patricia King commented: “These results are quite stark and show a clear left-right divide in our political system in terms of support for the fundamental rights of people at work.
“When we initiated the Charter campaign we did so to raise awareness of what constitutes decent work and to begin a national conversation about how we could make it a reality in every workplace,” she said.
“We engaged intensively with political parties and groupings over the course of several months, conducting some 130 individual meetings with political representatives.
“For Congress, the results are very clear in terms of where support lies for the creation of decent work in this society – something to which every worker is entitled.
“All parties and representatives were informed in advance that our results would be made public.
“The full results – outlining party support and the support of individual representatives – are available to view here.
“We will now be advising our affiliate trade unions accordingly, in the context of the General Election,” Ms King said.
She said candidates in the current election would also be given the opportunity to sign up to the Charter, if they had not already done so or had not already been approached.
The Charter campaign is now focussed on local authorities and county councillors across the country.