Trade unionists to host Town Hall meeting to highlight Workers Demand Better Campaign demands

Trade unionists are to hold a Town Hall meeting in Derry this week in support of the key demands of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ Workers Demand Better Campaign.

Derry Trades Union Council will be hosting the meeting in the Junction Room, Holywell Trust, on Bishop Street in Derry city centre at 7pm on Wednesday, November 9.

Launching the meeting DTUC Chair Niall McCarroll said: “The political system has not delivered for the majority of people - ordinary people can deliver the real change which we all desire, but we must fight together for it.

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"There needs to be a re-awakening of working class power and influence.

The Workers Demand Better Town Hall meeting will take place in the Holywell Trust on Wednesday.

"Through the trade union movement and community campaigning we must openly reject the scandalous double standards which encourage and allow massive rewards for those at the top table with everyone else struggling to just get by under crippling right wing policies which deliver nothing only further hardships through - benefit deductions, declining living standards, pay cuts, working longer hours, rising energy bills, poverty pay, increased workloads, no sick pay protections, dwindling employment rights and our public services being reduced, closed completely or being sold off for profit.”

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DTUC pointed to the key messages of the Northern Ireland Committee of ICTU’s Workers Deserve Demand Campaign.

These are as follows:

1. Government support and resources to households, (prioritising those on fixed incomes and low to middle incomes) to assist them when it comes to the cost of energy over the next number of months.

2. Along with pay improvements in each workplace, we need to see the state address the social wage.

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3. Governments need to engage with the trade union movement and start implementing progressive policies that support workers and their families.

4. The trade union manifesto, No Going Back – A new deal towards a safe and secure future for all, has serious policies which must be advanced.

5. A robust NI Employment Bill that promotes workers’ rights and stronger collective bargaining, leading to better pay, which includes key elements of the recent EU Directive on an Adequate Minimum Wage, as a centrepiece in any Programme for Government of the NI Executive.

A number of leading trade unionists have been lined up for Wednesday night’s meeting.

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Confirmed speakers for the event are Owen Reidy, ICTU General Secretary, Paddy Mackel, NIC ICTU Vice Chair, Gerry Murphy, NIC ICTU and The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO), Patricia McKeown, Unison and NIC ICTU, Dr. Lisa Wilson, the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI), Niall McCarroll, DTUC, and Goretti Horgan, DTUC.

Mr. McCarroll concluded: “The cost of living crisis is being exasperated through attacks on those in receipt of benefits and workers on sub standard contracts of employment facing pay cut after pay cut - below inflation pay awards being the theme.

"Capitalism and greed are the refuge of the powerful and wealthy. We need a redistribution of the wealth - wealth which we create.

"Come along on November 9 have your say and set the agenda for this campaign.”

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