Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SF says Ictu Yes to Lisbon 'misguided'

Sinn Féin today criticised the decision by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) to support a Yes vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

The Ictu executive council this morning voted to support a Yes decision by a vote of 14 to five, with eight abstentions.

But Sinn Féin spokesman on workers’ rights Arthur Morgan TD said he believed the Ictu executive was misguided on what the Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights can deliver for workers.

Mr Morgan said: “I am disappointed that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions following deliberations, where a significant number of trade unionists including members of the state's biggest union Siptu abstained, has come out in favour of a Yes vote.

“I feel that the decision is misguided, and I suspect that there was much debate at the table today as to the negative implications of this Treaty, before a decision was made.

“In my view the outcome of the Ictu executive’s deliberations stemmed from a fear, installed by the Government, Fine Gael and Labour, and EU leaders, that jobs will be lost if the Treaty is defeated," he said

Mr Morgan argued there was “too much that is ambiguous” in the Treaty for workers “and much that is blatantly anti-worker", such as the clause to remove ‘distortions’ from competition, which he said meant protective workers’ rights and state funding for public services.”

He called on those unions, including Siptu, who have not come to a position on Lisbon to urge their members to vote No.

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