Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Jobs, Worker’s Rights & Pay Equality, Maurice Quinlivan TD, today welcomed confirmation that PDFORRA have applied to join the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
Speaking today, the Limerick City TD said;
“Confirmation that PDFORRA, the representative body for members of our Defence Forces, have applied to join the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, is very welcome, and something Sinn Féin fully supports.
“The treatment of members of our Defence Forces by this Fine Gael government has been shameful, and this move, if successful, would give representatives of our Defence Forces a seat at the pay negotiation table in the next round of national pay talks.
“This would greatly increase the bargaining powers of members of our Defence Forces and make it easier for them to achieve better pay and conditions which is absolutely deserved and well overdue.
“Members of our Defence Forces have detailed the huge day-to-day struggles a career in the service means, from being forced to sleep in their cars, to needing additional social welfare payments, as their income is completely insufficient to meet their families’ needs.
“In addition, more than one third of military personnel have left the Defence Forces in the past five years, creating the biggest retention crisis ever faced by the organisation.
“I am proud my party have been to the fore of advocating for better pay and treatment of members of our Defence Forces.
“We have previously published a Bill that would fix an anomaly whereby, workers in An Garda Síochána and members of the Defence Forces, as well as trainee doctors and employees at sea, are exempt from the EU working time directive, which protects workers from being worked to exhaustion.
“The European Committee on Social Rights has upheld the right of members of our Defence Forces to engage in collective bargaining and to have trade union recognition, despite the government vigorously fighting this.
“Sinn Féin has also published legislation that would give effect to this right and has consistently called for the Government to provide for the collective bargaining rights to members of An Garda Síochána and members of our Defence Forces.”