SEOs: Government must seek stay of High Court decision pending appeal to Supreme Court

Unite logo white out of redDecision threatens workers and economic recovery

Unite will use all means to protect and advance workers’ terms and conditions

June 24th: Trade union Unite, which represents workers throughout the construction sector, today (Wednesday) said that the Government must immediately seek a stay on the orders proposed in yesterday’s High Court decision striking down the electrical Sectoral Employment Order and then appeal the the ruling to the Supreme Court.  Pointing out that the decision has implications for tens of thousands of workers whose terms and conditions are governed by SEOs, Unite Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald warned that the ruling posed a significant threat to Ireland’s economic recovery and said that Unite would use all means at its disposal to protect and advance workers’ interests.

“The Government must immediately seek a stay on the order proposed in yesterday’s High Court decision and then appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court.  Should there be any obstacles to either course of action, robust emergency legislation must be brought forward to protect the terms and conditions contained in the SEOs.

“At a time when Ireland is facing into an unprecedented economic crisis, yesterday’s decision threatens the incomes of tens of thousands and workers and thus puts our economic recovery at risk.

“Crucially, the absence of Sectoral Employment Orders would also mean that, for the first time in over 50 years, in huge sections of the construction sector there would be no constraints, beyond existing industrial relations legislation, on workers taking industrial action to defend themselves.  Such a situation would pose a considerable threat to many employers. In that scenario, Unite is confident in our ability to defend our members’ terms and conditions using all means at our disposal”, Mr Fitzgerald warned.

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