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100 years of collective bargaining a tribute to those brave, beautiful and extraordinary women whose unfinished revolution we have inherited Esther Lynch.

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Presentation on theme: "100 years of collective bargaining a tribute to those brave, beautiful and extraordinary women whose unfinished revolution we have inherited Esther Lynch."— Presentation transcript:

1 100 years of collective bargaining a tribute to those brave, beautiful and extraordinary women whose unfinished revolution we have inherited Esther Lynch ICTU Legislation and Legal Affairs Officer

2 1. To outline lessons from our past that inform our current thinking about collective bargaining rights 2. To take inspiration from the actions of trade union women who fought for collective bargaining rights 3. To set out trade union demands for legal reform in respect of the right to collective bargaining in Ireland

3 Beatrice Webb coined the term collective bargaining

4 The thinking behind the Combination Acts outlawing unions hasn’t gone away…

5 'We declare that we do not belong to the society called the 'Union', or any other society … which has for its object any interference with the rules laid down for the government of mills or manufactories. We agree …not to be members of, or be connected with, any such society, while we remain in our present employ… And if we are discovered to act contrary to the above agreement, each of us so offending will forfeit a sum equal to a fortnight's wages; and our masters shall have power to deduct the same from our wages, or discharge us from their employ without any notice, at their own option.‘

6 I hereby undertake to carry out all instructions given to me by or on behalf of my employers, and further, I agree to immediately resign my membership of the ITGWU (if a member) and I further undertake that I will not join or in any way support this union. Freeman’s Journal, 8 October 1913.

7 no collective bargaining here or else …


9 Taff Vale Railway Co v Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants [1901]commonly known as the Taff Vale case, held that unions could be liable for loss of profits to employers that were caused by taking strike action

10 1888 Matchstick workers strike The Strike Register shows many workers had Irish names

11 Rosie Hackett

12 Mary Ellen Murphy Sentenced to one month in custody for 'assaulting one of the girls employed by Jacobs by giving her a box on the face and calling her a "scab".

13 Dr Kathleen Lynn

14 Ms Montefiore

15 ‘ Dress suitably in short skirts and strong boots, leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank and buy a revolver. Don’t trust to your ‘feminine charm’ and your capacity for getting on the soft side of men, but take up your responsibilities and be prepared to go your own way, depending for safety on your own courage, your own truth and your own common sense’ …CM

16 Helena Maloney

17 Delia Larkin -summing up the aspirations of the IWWU all we ask for is just shorter hours, better pay and conditions of labour befitting a human being

18 UNDHR Article 23. 4 The right to join trade unions and the right to collective bargaining :Everyone has the right to.. join trade unions for the protection of his interests ;

19 Programme for Government … ‘We will reform the current law on employees ‟ right to engage in collective bargaining (the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001), so as to ensure compliance by the State with recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

20 Ensure respect for the right to organise by protecting workers from penalisation by employers Place a legal duty on employers to respect right to collective bargaining

21 Participate in meetings to discuss union collective bargaining; Distribute, read and discuss union literature ; Wear union badges to show support for the union; Organise in their union without fear of reprisals; Be represented by their union for collective bargaining purposes; These rights are for all workers including freelancers and other economically dependent self-employed.

22 Dismiss, threaten to terminate or not renew a contract; layoff, discipline, harass, transfer, or reassign a worker because they support the union; Close or threaten to close the place of employment or take away benefits or privileges in order to discourage union activity; Promise employees a pay increase, promotion, benefit or special favor if they oppose the union; Ask the worker their opinion of the union. Ignore or refuse workers’ requests to bargain collectively through union representation; Establish phoney employee associations under the domination and control of the employer; Keep a ‘blacklist’ or refuse to hire someone because they support the union;

23 Legal duty on employers to put in place ‘adequate and suitable’ arrangements for ‘collective bargaining’ Define ‘aadequate and suitable’ arrangements for collective bargaining to include an obligation to respect the right to organise; and to be represented by a trade union for the purpose of collective bargaining;

24 Establish criteria to ensure the genuine ‘independence’ of the negotiating parties Prohibit employers creating in-house associations as a means to frustrate and undermine trade union collective bargaining

25 Prohibit prevent employers ‘interference’ or the use of ‘inducements’ or other measures, policies, acts calculated to induce workers not to join’ or to give up their trade union membership, or to not exercise other trade union rights such as the right to collective bargaining.

26 Workers should be able to organise and bargain collectively free from coercion, intimidation, interference and retaliation Prevent the unfair dismissal or other prejudical act from occurring!! – New Type of Interim Injunction Dissuasive sanctions ! Unions have rights too…

27 We will make our own history We must learn the lessons from the past We can take strength from trade union women past and present Each of us has inherited the fight for trade union rights Thank You for listening @EstherLynchICTU

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