SIPTU Health supports 999 emergency call workers demand for decent work

SIPTU Health Division members visited striking 999 emergency call centre workers on their picket line in Navan, County Meath, during a 12-hour work stoppage on Thursday, 25th February to express solidarity with their demand for decent working conditions.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “SIPTU members in our National Ambulance Service and Communications Workers Union (CWU) members employed to operate the 999 emergency call service work together everyday serving the public. It is only right that we stand by their side today as they struggle for decent working conditions.

“The workers are calling on their employer, Conduit Global, to negotiate fair corrective action and on-call policies, accept workers right to collectively bargain as well as pay them a Living Wage of €11.50 per hour. SIPTU Health Division calls on the management of Conduit Global to engage meaningfully with the CWU to resolve this dispute.”

SIPTU Paramedic member, Joe O’Dwyer, based in Navan, said: “The stand taken by the members of the CWU in their campaign for dignity and respect in the workplace has the full support of our members. It’s important all trade unionists  working in emergency services stick together if we are to win improved terms and conditions and be valued for the life saving work we do.”

SIPTU President calls for 5% wage increases and sharp rise in minimum wage

SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor has said that in the coming months his union will embark on a major campaign for pay increases of 5% across the economy. In a speech at Glasnevin Cemetery today (Saturday 31st January) to mark the commemoration of the death of Jim Larkin in 1947, the SIPTU president also said that the union would also engage in a “in a new battle to establish a minimum living wage of €11.45 an hour across all those sectors of the economy where the gross exploitation of vulnerable workers is the order of the day.”

He added that SIPTU members will also engage in “a national campaign to apply pressure on the Government to commence the task of abolishing the Universal Social Charge and replacing it with a new mechanism which will be equally efficient as a means of raising revenue from the better off while removing the burden on those on low to middle incomes.”

Welcoming the dramatic election victory of Syriza in Greece last weekend he said that it signalled the end of nightmare of the one-sided austerity experiment across Europe.

“The intellectual case for one-sided austerity is utterly redundant.  It didn’t work in theory and now we know, at horrendous cost, that it doesn’t work in practice either.  The experiment has been tried and failed spectacularly.  That analysis is no longer restricted to those on the Left but is clearly evident across the mainstream of the political spectrum,” he said.

The SIPTU President called for a new ‘concordat’ between labour and capital which would replicate the great post war settlement that resulted in more than a generation of unprecedented and consistent economic growth, raising living standards in Western Europe to a greater degree than had ever been experienced before over a similar timeframe in recorded history.

In the approach to the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Jack O’Connor also called on Irish social democrats, left republicans and independent socialists to set aside sectarian divisions and to “develop a political project aimed at winning the next General Election on a common platform, let’s call it ‘Charter 2016’.”  He said that it must set out what an alternative left of centre government “would be for as distinct to what we are against.”

SIPTU to seek 5% pay rises across public and private sectors

SIPTU wants abolition of Universal Social Charge

SIPTU calls for 5% pay hikes for workers