Irish trade union opposes Lisbon treaty

This video from Dublin in Ireland says about itself:

Voters in Ireland are being asked to vote again on the exact same Lisbon treaty that was rejected June 12th 2008.

A public meeting was held in Liberty Hall on Tuesday 18th August at 8pm to launch the second No to Lisbon campaign.

Speakers included: *Mary Lou McDonald, Vice-President Sinn Féin * Joe Higgins, Socialist Party MEP * Bob Crow, General Secretary, Rail Maritime & Transport Union * Jimmy Kelly, Regional Secretary, UNITE Trade Union.

From London daily The Morning Star:

Unite gets behind Irish No campaign

Tuesday 01 September 2009

The Unite trade union has urged its 60,000 members in Ireland to reject the Lisbon Treaty in an October referendum, warning that the EU pact would sacrifice the right to organise and strike on the altar of “economic freedom.”

Last year, Irish citizens roundly rejected the neoliberal treaty, which is widely held to amount to a European constitution.

But the unpopular Fianna Fail-Green coalition government decided that the electorate had made the wrong decision and is forcing a second vote on October 2.

Dublin officials claim to have won concessions in key areas, including military neutrality and retaining an EU commissioner.

But Unite pointed to the glaring “lack of any progress in the critical area of workers’ rights.”

On Monday, Unite Irish regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said: “When the Irish government went seeking legal guarantees they got them in areas of taxation, of morality and in numbers of commissioners – but not in relation to workers’ rights.”

Mr Kelly pointed out that, instead of legal guarantees, negotiators had been fobbed off with a “solemn declaration” that is “worthless given the way in which the European courts have interpreted workers’ rights as being subservient to those of business.”

In four recent rulings issued by the European Court of Justice – the notorious Laval, Ruffert, Viking and Luxembourg cases – the court sided with bosses on honouring agreements, the right to picket, wage-increase indexing and wage cuts.

Mr Kelly explained that Unite sought the inclusion of a social progress clause in the Lisbon Treaty “which would make it clear that the fundamental right to organise and the right to strike are in no way subordinate to the economic freedoms pursued by the EU member states.”

But Mr Kelly observed that this suggestion was rejected and instead “we are told to have faith in national governments willingness to treat workers fairly and with respect and for Europe to act in the common good for all its citizens.”

He warned that, if passed, the treaty would chain EU institutions still further to a “business-over-labour ideology.”

And Mr Kelly added that the Fianna Fail-Green administration “is the last we should trust to stand up for workers.”

Earlier this month, Unite lent its premises for the launch of the Vote No to Lisbon campaign, which is led by Sinn Fein and Dublin Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins.

Meanwhile, transnational corporations like Intel and Ryanair have been pouring hundreds of thousands of euros into the Yes campaign’s war chest.

Members of Ireland’s Green Party voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to stay in Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s coalition government as it battles a runaway deficit, surging unemployment and crippled banks: here.

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