Trade Unions must fight to defend SEOs

In a case of history repeated itself a High Court Judge Garrett Simmons ruled in favour of a group of electrical employers in their efforts to strike Sectoral Employment Orders down as “unconstitutional”. These SEOs in construction and other sectors provide for basic pay standard higher than the statutory minimum wage. The introduction of SEOs came after the Supreme Court in 2016 similarly ruled that their predecessor arrangement Registered Employment Agreements were unconstitutional.

It is absolutely correct to cite these rulings as evidence of the inherent anti-working class bias in the judiciary. This ruling, particularly if the government doesn’t appeal it to the Supreme Court creates an opening for an employer offensive on pay and conditions. However if they go down that route likewise frees up the trade union movement to respond in kind. As Tommy Fitzgerald a Regional Officer for Unite the Union said:

“Crucially, the absence of Sectoral Employment Orders would also mean that, for the first time in over 50 years, in huge sections of the construction sector there would be no constraints, beyond existing industrial relations legislation, on workers taking industrial action to defend themselves. Such a situation would pose a considerable threat to many employers. In that scenario, Unite is confident in our ability to defend our members’ terms and conditions using all means at our disposal.”

Previous Article

Covid-19: Capitalism Rushes to Re-Open as Pandemic Grows

Next Article

Debenhams’ dispute: Workers take aim at new government

Related Posts

Unemployment Crisis – Organise to Defend Jobs

By Ray McLoughlin

BAUSCH AND Lomb – 200, KPMG – 200, lay offs in the first week of March continue the disastrous pattern of job losses in Ireland. Over 300 people were made redundant each working day in February in the South, 63,198 signed on the dole in the first two months of 2009! Unemployment is skyrocketing towards 500,000.

Redundancies are happening in all sectors, light engineering, construction, financial services. Further job losses are being proposed in transport, education and across the public services. Workers are looking into a black abyss of job losses, with all the consequent hardships and uncertainties facing them and their families? What leadership are the trade union leaders giving to the victims of this failure of capitalism?