Limerick Fine Gael TDs’ stance on Fair Work campaign condemned

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Fine Gael's Kieran O'Donnell and Michael Noonan.

by Alan Jacques

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Fine Gael's Kieran O'Donnell and Michael Noonan.
Fine Gael’s Kieran O’Donnell and Michael Noonan.

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan and his Limerick City Fine Gael Dáil colleague Deputy Kieran O’Donnell have been criticised for failing to support the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ (ICTU) Charter for Fair Work.

The Congress Charter sets out five key principles to help make decent work a reality: a living wage; fair hours of work; the right to union representation; the right to respect in the workplace, and fair public procurement.

Criticising Minister Noonan and Deputy O’Donnell’s refusal to support the charter, Sinn Féin General Election candidate for Limerick City, Cllr Maurice Quinlivan said that every politician, regardless of their political background, should be prepared to sign up to these principles for dignity and fairness at work.

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“The ICTU has found overwhelming support for its Charter for Fair Conditions at Work among most political parties. However one party stands out for its refusal to support this campaign and that is Fine Gael,” he claimed.

“This is despite the fact that Congress has engaged intensively with all political parties on this issue. This is because Fine Gael is at heart a very right wing party.”

Cllr Quinlivan is now urging the tens of thousands of trade union members living in Limerick City and County to think carefully about the refusal of Michael Noonan and Kieran O’Donnell to support this campaign for decency at work.”

He pointed out that Sinn Fein had no hesitation in signing up to these principles for fairness and believes in supporting the work of Congress.

“Here in Limerick, I have been proud to support trade union campaigns such as my own union SIPTU’s campaign for home helps, or Mandate’s campaign for Dunnes Stores workers. You’d be waiting a long time to see a Fine Gael representative standing on a picket line in support of workers.

“The refusal of Deputies O’Donnell and Noonan to sign up to the Congress Campaign for Fair Work tells you all you need to know about the true agenda of Fine Gael. Workers can’t afford another five years of a Fine Gael-led Government.”

There was no response from Minister Noonan and Deputy O’Donnell at the time of going to press.