by Democrat reporter
ONE OF Ireland's largest trade union has confirmed that it is to campaign for a 'No' vote in the coming Lisbon Treaty referendum.
Earlier this week, Unite Irish regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said that the union would call upon its 70,000 members in the Republic to reject the treaty, criticising the government's lack of action on workers' rights and "its seeming desire to railroad the treaty through without providing commitments on what it will mean".
Citing the government's opposition to Europe on the Agency Workers Directive, which the union sees as a cornerstone of fair treatment for the lowest paid and least regarded workers in Ireland, he accused it of being full of empty promises and of sleight of hand when it came to dealing with workers' issues.
The government's attitude to the Agency Workers Directive was not the only example, he said.
"They ignored the Supreme Court ruling in the Ryanair case on rights to representation, leaving workers exposed in a similar manner to that which was the case 100 years ago. They buried their heads over mandatory pensions, ignoring the fact that one million people are heading towards poverty in old age."
Insisting that the role of the union was to look out for the rights of its members, he said that rejecting the treaty would make it crystal clear that the union would "need to see concrete evidence on workers' rights, not just empty promises."
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