Unite vows to defend pension rights, public sector workers

unite-white-out-of-redPension age increase does not take account of glaring health inequalities

Varadkar warned on strike restriction

Unite successes in reversing NI public sector cuts highlighted

May 23rd: This afternoon’s debate at Unite’s Fourth Irish Policy Conference in Belfast focussed on pensions, public services and the public workers who deliver them.

Opening the debate on pensions, Unite Regional Co-Ordinating Officer Richie Browne noted that pensions are a key battleground for workers, and that there has been a long-term and non-stop campaign being conducted at national and international level to undermine workers’ rights to a public pension in retirement, and to transfer the pensions risk from employers and the state to working people.

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Unite Policy Conference: Remarks by Jackie Pollock introducing Industrial Strategy debate

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Jackie Pollock, Deputy Regional Secretary Unite

Introducing the debate on pensions at Unite’s Fourth Irish Policy Conference in Belfast, Deputy Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock said:

I would like to open this debate focussing on the strengths of Northern Ireland industry. All too often we are forced to focus on the bad news – but it is important that we start off from a positive perspective. It is precisely because we have such a strong industrial base that we need to have real ambition for this sector.

Manufacturing in Northern Ireland makes a vital contribution to our economy. 85,000 are directly employed in the sector with hundreds of thousands more jobs in distribution and service sectors dependent indirectly and through induced spending. Continue reading

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Economy, workers’ rights centre stage as Unite Policy Conference kicks off

Workers must not pay price for Brexit, says Jimmy Kelly

Unite’s Fourth Irish Policy conference kicked off this morning (Tuesday May 23rd) with debates on the economy and workers’ rights.  The agenda is available for download here, and below are selected remarks.

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Jimmy Kelly, Unite Regional Secretary

Introducing the economic debate, Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly highlighted the challenges posed by Brexit and said that governments North and South will have to play an interventionist role to ensure that our economies are cushioned through the potential shocks and changes resulting from Brexit.

“Unite is determined to ensure that workers on the island of Ireland do not pay the price for Brexit.

To meet the challenges of Brexit, Unite is advocating three complementary policy measures.

  • Firstly, an increase in the minimum wage with the medium-term goal of making the Living Wage the statutory floor.
  • Secondly, an end to precarious employment practices, including zero hour, low hours and ‘if and when’ contracts, and provision of decent training and apprenticeships for younger workers.
  • Thirdly, the introduction of a legal and universal right to collective bargaining, combined with the extension and deepening of sectoral collective bargaining structures.

Securing implementation of these three measures will be a priority for Unite in the months and years ahead”, Jimmy Kelly said. Continue reading

Posted in Benefits Reform, Brexit, Campaign for Decent Pay, Living Wage, Living Wage, Manufacturing, Northern Ireland news, Press Releases, Public Services, Republic of Ireland news, Unite in the Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Planned protest at Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council cancelled in mark of respect to Manchester victims

Gareth ScottUnite members call off Living Wage protest in aftermath of terrorist atrocity

Unite Regional Officer Gareth Scott confirmed a planned protest outside Coleraine council buildings has been called off as a mark of respect following the terrorist attack in Manchester.

“At present our thoughts are with the victims of the overnight attacks and we felt it would be inappropriate to hold a protest at this time.

“However the issue of poverty pay remains a concern for our members and we will be rescheduling the protest at a later date”, Mr Scott ended.

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Workers to challenge Causeway Coast & Glens Councillors over failure to address Poverty Pay

Gareth ScottUnite members will seek support for Living Wage pay commitment ahead of Coleraine council meeting tomorrow [Tuesday, May 23rd]

Unite Regional Officer Gareth Scott confirmed his union’s members would seek to engage councillors at Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council over their failure to pay all workers a Living Wage.

“As part of Unite’s campaign to ensure workers receive a Living Wage, our members working in Causeway Coasts & Glens Borough Council will challenge councillors over the issue of poverty pay as they enter the town hall for their Council meeting in Coleraine tomorrow evening [Tuesday, May 23rd, 7.30pm].

“Our members have decided to take this action following the failure of the council Chief Executive to acknowledge a written request by the Union to become a Living Wage employer. Continue reading

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