SIPTU says EU Directive on pay transparency won’t deliver real change for women workers Date Released: 04 March 2021

Date Released: 04 March 2021

SIPTU representatives have said that the draft EU Directive on pay transparency, published today (Thursday, 4th March), will effectively lock women into a state of permanent pay inequality.

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for Organising and Membership Development, Ethel Buckley, said: “While this long awaited and overdue Directive contains some fine aspirations, it falls way short in terms of the actions and urgency required to deliver real change for women workers.

“While the Directive aims to reduce secrecy on pay, it does not provide the practical tools necessary to negotiate and address the glaring pay inequalities that exist for women workers. The gender pay gap is currently standing at 14.4% in Ireland and if recent rates of progress are anything to go by the women of Europe and Ireland will have to wait another four generations for equal pay. That is not acceptable.”

She added: “We are calling on all Irish MEPs to work with SIPTU representatives to improve the Directive over the coming weeks to remove the limits of the pay audits to companies with over 250 employees, to enable trade unions to collectively bargain and to combat the power imbalance that exists when it comes to equal pay for work of equal value.”

WFTU International Symposium for the Release of all Palestinian child prisoners from Israeli jails (Virtual)


Aer Lingus layoffs at Shannon Airport

The laying-off of all Aer Lingus cabin crew at Shannon Airport today (Monday) is devastating for the staff and for the region.

Throughout the Covid crisis Fórsa has always sought to maintain the links between staff and employer, in order that the airline and its crews were ready to resume services as and when it was safe to do so.

The Covid crisis has lasted far longer than anyone had envisaged, and this creates additional challenges to maintain the solutions we had previously put in place with the employer.

Fórsa has previously warned that thousands of jobs dependent on aviation could be lost permanently unless the Government acts to support the sector though a second summer of inactivity caused by Covid-related travel restrictions.

Fórsa called for enhanced industry-specific wage supports, easier access to mortgage payment breaks, and enhanced Government supports to the industry including a State-led stakeholder engagement to develop a survival plan for the sector.


The union communicated this message to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications Networks in February.

Fórsa called for enhanced industry-specific wage supports, easier access to mortgage payment breaks, and enhanced Government supports to the industry including a State-led stakeholder engagement to develop a survival plan for the sector.

Today’s developments illustrate that Fórsa’s warnings on the future of aviation need to be taken seriously and acted upon. The sector plays a crucial role in both our national and regional economies.

Fórsa represents over 80,000 members, including around 5,000 workers in airlines, airports, air navigation bases, aviation regulatory bodies, and air traffic control.


600 Ulster Bank jobs in Sic counties must be protected – FSU

Issued : 19 February 2021


600 Ulster Bank jobs in Northern Ireland must be protected – FSU

Friday, 19th February 2021

The Financial Services Union has said that it is deeply disappointed by the confirmation this morning (19.02.21) that Ulster Bank DAC is exiting its operations in the Republic of Ireland.

Commenting, general secretary of the FSU, John O’Connell said: “While Ulster Bank’s operations in Northern Ireland are unaffected by today’s news, the work of circa 600 staff in Belfast predominately involves supporting Ulster Bank activities in the Republic. These jobs must be secured and protected.

“We are calling on Ulster Bank and Natwest management to provide clarity about the future of these positions. We will be meeting management at the Bank later today to make these points and to seek those reassurances.

“Regardless of how today’s news impacts operations in the Republic, there is more than ample work within the Natwest Group for these staff and every effort must be made to retain them.

“We call on the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Chancellor to engage with Natwest so as to ensure that the importance of these jobs to the economy of the Greater Belfast area is fully understood.”


Contact: Brian McDowell, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, FSU. Tel: 087-9161225. Email:

Notes to editors:

  • John O’Connell is available for interview, on request.

About FSU: The FSU is Ireland’s leading union across banking and finance. We represent thousands of staff across the main retail banks, and we have members in more than 70 companies across the finance and fintech sectors. Our members are spread across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain. We are headquartered in Dublin and we also have a presence in Belfast. We are members of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and UNI Global finance union.

1578477695950_KNOW YOUR RIGHTS BOOKLET (1)


Young Socialist Views on workers plight.

A piece written for Trade Union Left Forum by 14 year old Amhlaoibh Ó Síocháin Ó Beoláin a young socialist from North Cork with a keen interest in the creation of new Economic Systems which support the cause of workers in Ireland.
Worker-Owned Cooperatives: 
A Fair Productive Way Forward:
This spring, many low-paid and precarious workers are eking out a living on wages that are insufficient, and in the case of precarious workers, irregular. Meanwhile, sucessful business owners will be comfortable despite the pandemic.
This difference of standard of living between business people and the workforce is unacceptable. Most people would agree the Economy cannot function without business people and entrepeneurs. But what a great number of people overlook is that the Economy also can not function without a workforce. Without the workforce, houses would not be built, hospitals would not be staffed, the shelves in the shops would be empty, and the Postal and Courier services would malfunction completely. In other words, calamity would strike the Nation.
Then why must much of the workforce (21%) be employed on the minimum wage, and 30% of people be under the living wage? These are wages that cannot properly support neither the workers nor their families. Why do they and their children go to sleep hungry and cold this spring? Many politicians would argue that being a low-paid worker is only the first rung on the ladder to economic security. The reality is many low-paid workers continue to work on low wages until they reach pension age. Insecurity of employment and the business hierarchy makes it nigh upon impossible for many to secure a higher standard of living. Employers often see the low-paid worker as useful but disposable, unworthy of a pay rise or a promotion.
It is time for this to end. The way forward from this is simple: democracy in the workplace.
Worker-owned cooperatives would ensure that wages, promotions, pay rises and profit shares would be agreed by all workers in all positions in the business.
It would also give workers and unions greater power in negotiating for better working conditions, shorter hours and regular payment.
Workers would not attempt to raise their wages unsustainably, as their business (as it is now cooperatively owned) would become bankrupt, and they would subsequently become unemployed.
We would also see employees not only working to achieve what is best for them, but what is best for their co-workers. But above all, it would give all workers a chance to raise their standard of living, something which our current corrupt economic system does not allow. This is not a pie-in-the-sky pipe dream.
We have seen democratically-owned business being used sucessfully by the Mondragon Corporation, who employ over 81,000 workers, trade in more than 150 countries and made a profit of €133.7 million in 2018. Some people would say that worker-owned cooperatives would result in a lack of entrepeneurship. This is not true. Worker-owned cooperatives would result in fair wages, not universal wages, still giving entrepeneurs encouragement to start a business. I think that now is the time for the unions to organise a movement towards greater use of the worker cooperative model, to secure a fair, sustainable future for workers.
Amhlaoibh Ó Síocháin Ó Beoláin 2021

New Cuban Support Group

Trade Union Left Forum are delighted to offer our support and Solidarity with the new Cuban Support group. Cuban Solidarity Forum Ireland

ASTI news

Leaving Cert 2021 proposal not viable

The ASTI has announced it is withdrawing from discussions on the Leaving Cert 2021 pending a guarantee that the talks will focus on the Minister’s stated objectives of planning for examinations and scoping out a corresponding measure.

ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie said it is unacceptable that a plan is being developed which will effectively see students preparing for two versions of a Leaving Cert, with Calculated Grades being the dominant option, and the Leaving Cert exams filling in assessment gaps.

“We entered a process in good faith to explore the position whereby if the Leaving Certificate or elements of it do not go ahead, a fair and credible choice or option would be available to students,” said Mr Christie.

“It is clear to us that the approach being developed would not provide the meaningful Leaving Certificate experience this cohort of students deserve.

“The process is being developed in a manner that would see the Leaving Certificate relegated to a secondary position with Calculated Grades the premier option. The lack of data this year would make the delivery of a credible Calculated Grades process extremely challenging.

“Given the widely accepted additional stress that students are currently experiencing, it is extraordinary that the only option being explored is that they would effectively prepare for two versions of a Leaving Certificate rather than one.

“We are calling for the Minister to re-establish the focus of the talks so that a meaningful Leaving Certificate experience is provided to this cohort of students, which they rightly deserve.”

The ASTI will continue to engage constructively with the re-opening of schools process.



Campaign to Stop CETA.

A chara,

I am writing to you, to urge you to vote against the upcoming Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. CETA is much more than a trade deal and has huge ramifications for Ireland.

CETA will damage Ireland’s ability to legislate for stronger Workers’ Rights & climate actions such as, compulsory company sick pay/ pension schemes or a ban on plastic bottles.

CETA enables Private corporations to sue government’s for potential loss of profits as a result of governments changing policy, in private dispute settlement courts ISDS.

There is no end to the possibilities, billions of euros have already been paid out by governments in fines and costs to corporations who have successfully sued governments in ISDS in other trade agreements such as North American free trade agreement Nafta.

I am urging you to vote no and reject CETA.

ISDS has been used by corporations to sue national governments, undermine politicians and the democratic process across the world – everything from tobacco companies suing against the introduction of plain packaging to companies seeking massive compensation when governments tried to limit fracking in Canada or the introduction of a minimum wage in Egypt.

Canadian owned company IRES is the largest private landlord in Ireland. The signing of CETA could have huge implications for tenants and exacerbate the housing crisis.

We need strong leaders to guide this country not transfer power to Multinational Coporations, Vulture funds and private courts.

(Your name here)

Your TDs email addresses can be found here 👇


Nurses and midwives deserve pandemic compensation – INMO tells Oireachtas


Ireland’s nurses and midwives deserve additional compensation for their work during the pandemic, the INMO will tell the Oireachtas health committee today (Tuesday).

Healthcare workers in Northern Ireland and Scotland are set to receive a once-off £500 bonus for their work so far. In France, they are to be awarded a €1,500 bonus for their work.

The INMO lodged a claim in November for compensatory leave due to fatigue and overwork throughout 2020, which has not yet been responded to.

The INMO will also tell the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health that decisions on worker safety have had “insufficient priority” since the start of the pandemic. The union will say that healthcare workers’ safety has been at risk as a result, while students have been left with a bad experience of the Irish health service.

The INMO submission will also call for improved social distancing in hospitals, mental health supports for the frontline, childcare provision, and mandatory health and safety inspections in workplaces with clusters or outbreaks of COVID.

INMO President, Karen McGowan, said:
“Despite great risks, our colleagues across nursing and midwifery have made an incredible contribution to the fight against COVID. It is a matter of simple justice that the debt of gratitude owed to frontline staff is recognised.”

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
“This has been a long hard year for those who work in the health service. Time and time again, frontline healthcare staff have stepped up to provide care in extreme circumstances. It is beyond time that their efforts are recognised.

“We have lodged a claim for compensation for our members, given all they have sacrificed and contributed during this pandemic. We are still awaiting a response.

“Ever since the virus arrived on our shores, we have had to push for basic safety for frontline staff. We were forced to launch a public campaign simply to get facemasks. The government refused to classify COVID as an occupational injury until an EU directive forced their hand. 

“Even basic issues like childcare for the largely female healthcare workforce were not dealt with when schools closed. 

“It’s time for a clear message from government that our frontline nurses and midwives are truly valued.”


Notes to editors:
A full copy of the INMO’s opening statement to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health is here

The INMO’s Phil Ní Sheaghdha and INMO President Karen McGowan will address the committee from 10am.


Mandate saddened by passing of Mel Corry

Mandate saddened by passing of Mel Corry

Thursday 14 January 2021

Mandate is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of our brother Mel Corry yesterday afternoon after a short battle with Covid.

Mel had been working for Trademark Belfast as a tutor on Mandate’s education courses since 2013 where our staff and our members had the pleasure of learning from a trade union stalwart.

Members loved his dry wit and twinkle in the eye. Mel was working class. Therefore he acutely felt and understood the struggles met by workers and their families. Through his union work it was obvious he felt a deep affinity with our members and they with him. He was an important part of their struggles and journey through life. His life was a life well lived and he will leave an irreplaceable hole both in our hearts as well as in our trade union movement.

Mel spoke at our 2014 conference in Killarney where this picture was taken. He spoke about the great inequities and social injustices we faced, and continue to face. When we arrived the morning the conference was to start, Mel was already there setting up a stall where he could recommend books to our members and activists to help them on their learning journey. That was Mel. A trade unionist, socialist and educator every minute of every day.

When Mandate became involved in the Right2Water campaign, we immediately made contact with Trademark Belfast and asked them to involve themselves in the campaign. Through Unite the Union they provided educational courses to water activists across the country which gave them a good grounding and understanding about the privatisation agenda that was and is destroying living standards for workers and their families across the island of Ireland.

Understated, knowledgeable, empathetic and communist. He had a vision for a better future and he spent his life searching for it and fighting for it every single day.

All of us in Mandate wish to extend our sincere condolences to Mel’s family, friends, his comrades in Trademark Belfast and all who are impacted by this terrible loss.

Thank you Mel for all your hard work on behalf of our class. You will be sorely missed.

We all are better for having known you. Rest In Power comrade