Begg urges Coalition to delay ratification


GENERAL SECRETARY of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) David Begg has urged the Government to hold off on the ratification of the fiscal treaty until the end of the year if it is passed.

Mr Begg was addressing delegates of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) in Galway on the final day of its biennial conference, in which members voted to back a Yes vote in the upcoming treaty referendum.

Mr Begg said François Hollande’s victory in the French presidential election meant “the tectonic plates have shifted again” in Europe, and, as a result, Ireland should wait until later in the year before ratifying the treaty.

“If they feel unable, for whatever reason, to defer the referendum then I suggest they consider giving people an assurance that they will not ratify the treaty until they have to, at the end of this year,” said Mr Begg.

“In the meantime they should stand four square behind Hollande and assist him in every way possible to achieve his stated objective of a growth strategy.

“It would be a strategy which would give us some influence on our destiny rather than being passive objects of experimentation by neoliberal ideologues,” said Mr Begg.

After the TEEU, Mandate and Unite unions all called for a No vote in the treaty referendum, delegates of the CWU passed a motion calling for a Yes vote.

A little over 59 per cent (4,826) of delegates called for workers to back the treaty, while 3,318 delegates voted against the motion.

“Conference has decided that the balance of workers’ interests lies in supporting the passing of the referendum question,” said CWU general secretary Steve Fitzpatrick.