SIPTU welcomes progress of Bill to return collective bargaining rights to freelance workers

Photo from left to right: Padraig Murray, Irish Equity President, Senator Ivana Bacik, Karan OLoughlin, SIPTU National Campaigns and Equality Organiser and Bryan Murray, Irish Equity outside Leinster House on Wednesday 6th July calling on all Senators to support the Competition Amendment Bill.

SIPTU has welcomed the progress of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016, which seeks to return collective bargaining rights to freelance workers, from the report to committee stage following a Government decision not to oppose it in the Seanad today (Wednesday 6th July).

SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “This is a welcome advance in the long running campaign to see collective bargaining rights returned to freelance workers. It is a step in the right direction for the many freelance journalists, musicians and actors who have suffered since their right to be represented by a union in collective bargaining was removed from them over ten years ago. SIPTU members will continue their campaign until these rights are once more protected.”

SIPTU Arts and Culture sector Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin, said: “The Government made the right decision in not opposing this Bill which seeks to return the right to collective bargaining to a section of workers. It is particularly welcome that Senator Ivana Bacik, the Bill’s sponsor, and Senator Frances Black, one of its key supporters in the Seanad, will work with the government and all interested parties to ensure there is consensus on any future amendments to the Bill and to achieve its passage into legislation after the summer.

Irish Equity President Padraig Murray, said: “After more than a decade it is with great satisfaction that we are now seeing progress on this issue. It can now be hoped that freelance workers will soon once again be effectively represented through collective bargaining by their union. a right that was removed from them by the Competition Authority.”