Protecting members after the High Court decision on SEOs – Unite the Union Statement

Dear Member,

Many of you will have been deeply concerned at this week’s High Court decision striking down the electrical Sectoral Employment Order and, by implication, other SEOs.  This has major implications for members in the construction sector, as well as members in other sectors intending to apply to an SEO. Unite has called on the Government to seek a stay of the decision followed by an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court, and we are also seeking robust emergency legislation protecting the terms and conditions enshrined in existing SEOs.  Even in the absence of Sectoral Employment Orders, however, Unite is confident in our ability to defend our members’ interests using all means at our disposal including industrial action where appropriate.  Click here to read Unite’s statement, which was covered by the Irish Times and RTE.  It should be noted that, as of today, the Sectoral Employment Orders remain in force.

As more workers, including Unite members in hospitality and hairdressing, prepare to return to their workplaces on Monday, Unite has been making the case not only for proper consultation on health and safety measures, but also for vulnerable workers – or those concerned about members of their household – to be able to continue availing of income supports; the story was covered by the Journal.  Unite has also made a submission to the Tourism Recovery Taskforce; please click here to read our document, which focuses on workers’ rights.

Workers in Aer Lingus are fighting to defend themselves against threatened unilateral action by the company – action which would undermine the airline’s recovery post-Covid.  Unite holds the chair of the Craft Group of Unions; our statement issued last weekend was covered by Newstalk and the Sunday Mirror.

Equality is a core value of Unite and the broader trade union movement, and events in the United States continue to throw a spotlight on the racism experienced by working people closer to home.  Click here to read a statement issued by members of Unite’s Regional Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Committee highlighting the role of unions in combating racism.  Earlier this week, I submitted a letter to the Irish Times regarding their coverage of a racist incident at a sporting event in the UK.  It sometimes takes the Irish Times a considerable lead-in to print letters; meanwhile, you can read it in full here.

This weekend should have seen members of the LGBTQ+ community, friends and supporters thronging the streets of Dublin for Pride.  The Covid-19 pandemic has made that impossible, but our virtual pride and solidarity are as strong as ever.  Click here to watch the video contributed by Unite to Sunday’s virtual Dublin Pride parade.

Please made sure to follow our online platforms (links below) to stay up-to-date with what Unite is saying and doing.

In solidarity

Brendan Ogle
Senior Officer – Republic of Ireland
Unite the union