Over the past week the IRSP, in conjunction with the Strabane Area Trades Council (SATC), have been actively promoting the benefits of trade union membership. Both the IRSP and SATC have visited the workplaces of non-unionised workers to discuss the importance of being a member of a trade union and to tackle the practice of trans-national employers who seek to disempower and exploit their workforce.
IRSP spokesperson Michael McLaughlin, who is also a member of the Unemployed Union and the SATC, said: “We want to inform the workers who are denied union membership by their employers that when an employer insists on a non-unionised workplace it is because the conditions of your job or the vast majority of your workmates do not meet the minimum standards accepted by the Trade Union Movement”
“The role of Trade Union Movement is to give workers a voice and to fight against the exploitation of people in the interests of private profit. For a safe, secure and rewarding working environment union membership is a necessity and the IRSP vow to confront the unscrupulous employers who deny these workers proper working standards and representation. Such employers should be named and shamed. In Strabane we have ‘Allstate’, an American multi-national call centre which has threatened to dismiss workers who have showed an interest in getting organized.
O’Neills sports factory which makes GAA related sports wear also refuses to allow its workers to become unionised. These are only two examples but many more exist and go unchallenged. This is something Strabane IRSP intends to challenge in the near future.”
“Figures released in the Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measures 2010 report showed that 14,394 people in Strabane were experiencing income deprivation and that 46.6% of the people of Strabane were economically inactive during this time.
Mr Mclaughlin concluded; “These figures show the true face of deprivation in Strabane and indeed a similar situation can be seen across the 6 counties. In the fight against the exploitation of working people it is of utmost importance that workers come together and organise.”