Workers’ rights must be protected in Brexit process, by a functioning local Assembly

Unite Conference 109

Parties must recommit themselves to power-sharing in order to ensure Northern Ireland’s interests secured

Union calls for all Assembly parties to commit to retaining all EU protections for workers and to rescind oppressive anti-union legislation

March 31st: Unite Ireland Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, has called on all parties to the Assembly to redouble their efforts to form a fully functioning Executive in light of the challenges and opportunities opening up within the Brexit process.

“Theresa May has pledged to protect workers’ rights in the Brexit process but her words will provide little assurance to any worker in Northern Ireland. As such, Unite is calling on all parties to clarify their support for the enshrinement in domestic law of all protections for workers which have been won through our membership of the EU.

“To make real this commitment, we need a functioning Executive and local Assembly. Locally-elected politicians know best the interests of Northern Ireland. Given the range of challenges and opportunities opened up by the Brexit process, and the particular concerns that exist for Northern Ireland, it is imperative that we have the speedy restitution of the Stormont institutions.

“The threat of direct-rule brings with it the possibility of the recent harsh Tory ‘trade union’ bill being extended to Northern Ireland. The introduction of this deeply reactionary legislation here will be fought tooth and nail by our union, as it already is in the rest of the United Kingdom.

“Far from introducing further anti-union legislation to Northern Ireland, we are calling on all parties to commit themselves to rescind all oppressive trade-union legislation brought in by the Conservative party under direct-rule in the 1980s.

“Northern Ireland has positive industrial relations – there is no need for this sort of aggressive legislation to undermine the ability of working-class people to defend their interests. A functioning, locally-accountable Executive is needed now more than ever”, Mr Kelly finished.

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