Mandate urges Government to allow union-busting prevention legislation to pass

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Mandate Trade Union, representing almost 30,000 workers in the retail and bar sectors across the Republic of Ireland, has called on Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party to allow the “Protection of Employees (Trade Union Subscriptions) Bill 2024”, tabled by Deputy Joan Collins TD, to pass to the next stage in the Oireachtas.

The Bill, if passed, would close off a number of loopholes in Irish law which allow some employers to engage in union-busting. It would also make it easier for a worker to join a trade union.

The Government indicated at this morning’s debate that it would be opposing the Bill, but the vote will take place this evening (Wednesday, February 28th). Mandate believes there’s still time for the Government to do the right thing and allow the bill to proceed to the next stage.

“The Government raised a number of issues they have with the Bill, including potential increased administrative costs for businesses and constitutional issues” said Jonathan Hogan, Mandate’s Interim General Secretary. “Those concerns can be discussed and addressed at the next stage in the Oireachtas, if they are genuine,” he added.

“There’s nothing to stop amendments to the Bill during the Committee stage or any other stage if the government wishes. To reject the Bill outright sends a strong message to employers; that the union-busting practices being adopted right now by some employers can proceed without any opposition from government.”

Mr Hogan said Mandate would be communicating with all of their members in all of the major multinational retail outlets in every town and village in Ireland about how TDs vote in this important debate.

“We would like to thank all of the TDs who spoke in favour of the Bill and will be supporting it during tonight’s vote. We’re asking that Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party vote in favour and allow the Bill to pass so that further scrutiny can take place. Failure to do so will expose the priorities of each of the Government parties and their intentions when it comes to the proper transposition of the new EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages which requires all EU countries to tackle union-busting and improve trade union and worker rights,” concluded Mr Hogan.