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31/08/2018 Comments are off AideenC

The right to organise in a union will not be denied

The fight for workers’ right to organise in a union for the purposes of collective bargaining has been the key task for our organisation during its more than 100 years of existence.

Currently, SIPTU members are considering industrial action in relation to two companies where the employer has refused to adequately engage with their union. These companies are Rapid Action Packaging in Gweedore, County Donegal, and the Respond Housing Association.

In both cases, despite the companies being in receipt of public funds, management has ignored direction by the State’s industrial relations mechanisms to engage with union representatives.

Elsewhere, from the pharmacy chain Lloyds to retailers such a TK Maxx, employers are also refusing to respect workers’ right to collectively bargain as members of their union, Mandate.

In the early decades of the 20th Century the struggle for the right to union recognition resulted in titanic struggles such as the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913. Since then, most businesses realised that an attempt to deny workers the right to union recognition was a battle they were bound to lose, and so have desisted from such attempts.

From Ryanair to Lloyds Pharmacy, the battle for union recognition remains at the heart of the struggle by workers for fair and equal treatment. Both companies are hugely profitable concerns which, until now, have been reluctant to share those rewards with the workers who have made them possible.

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