October 7th: Speaking this morning, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said that all unions – regardless of their stance on the Haddington Road agreement – now need to come together in support of ASTI members who are to be subjected to the terms of the FEMPI legislation following their members’ decision to reject the Agreement. Mr Kelly was speaking at a meeting of Unite union activists.
“100 years after workers were locked out for refusing to disown the Irish Transport Union, public sector workers are threatened with being ‘locked out’ because of a decision democratically taken by their members. Workers terms and conditions will now be determined not by collective agreement, but by whether they are a member of a particular union, or of none.
“When the ‘Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest’ (FEMPI) legislation was introduced, Unite warned that its impact would be felt by working people long after the Haddington Road Agreement had run its course. FEMPI is not simply about forcibly implementing Haddington Road – it is about coercing workers, and it sets a dangerous precedent for all workers, whether in the public or private sectors.
“The recent ICTU conference unanimously passed a motion instructing Congress to vigorously campaign for the repeal of FEMPI. Regardless of the stance adopted by different unions towards Haddington Road, the treatment now being meted out to ASTI members – including the recent threat of compulsory redundancies – means that campaign needs to start now.
“ASTI members are entitled to the support of all trade unionists – and working people need to know that the trade union movement will not rest until FEMPI is repealed”, Mr Kelly concluded.