Ibec against any move on union recognition
Employers’ group Ibec has said it will totally oppose any move to introduce mandatory trade union recognition or collective bargaining rights as part of a new review established by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton.
Ibec director of industrial relations Brendan McGinty said yesterday that while it would participate fully in the review, this was a red line for the organisation.
“A key issue for employers is to make sure that there is no measure adopted by the current Government that undermines the environment for employers to either create or sustain jobs.
“We are operating in the most challenging economic environment for a generation, and essential to that is the maintenance of our voluntarist ethos in terms of how we conduct our industrial relations.
“Ibec obviously will be participating fully in the review the Minister for Jobs and Enterprise has announced. As far as Ibec is concerned the number one priority is to make sure there is no move towards the introduction of mandatory trade union recognition or collective bargaining rights.”
Mr Bruton has sought submissions from parties such as the union movement, Ibec and the American Chamber of Commerce as part of a consultation process on new legislation for collective bargaining promised in the programme for government. The deadline for submissions is the end of February.
Mr McGinty said yesterday that Ibec had examined the country’s international obligations and was satisfied that there was no need for Irish legislation to be amended. Existing legislation contained a high level of protection for employees.
“Furthermore we have to recognise that the vast majority of employers in the private sector operate a direct engagement model which is entirely legitimate and is the preferred approach of many employers and, indeed, their staff.
“And of course there are employers which have a long history of dealing with trade unions on a voluntary basis, and that has to be at the heart of the decision-making process around the nature of our industrial relations system.
“That has stood us very well for many decades and has helped to sustain industrial peace.”
In their submissions the unions are expected to strongly oppose the Ibec position.