Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 31 January, 2007
Written Answers. - Employment Rights.
Mr. Ferris Mr. Ferris
Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the measures taken by his Department to encourage workers to join trade unions. [2617/07]
Mr. Killeen Mr. Killeen
Mr. Killeen: Article 40.6.iii of the Constitution of Ireland guarantees the right of citizens ‘to form associations and unions’. The Irish Courts have found that the explicit right to associate contained in the Constitution is matched by an implied corollary right to disassociate. Accordingly, it is a matter for an individual to decide whether or not to join a trade union.
Trade unions are a vital part of Irish life. Through the national partnership process, they have played a dynamic role in paving the way for national prosperity, in modernising our economy, in accommodating change and in creating a healthy climate for industrial relations. Through their participation on boards of many of our State bodies, they have contributed significantly, both in representing and vindicating the rights of their members, and also in helping to shape our strong performance and rapid development.
The State is supportive of the trade union movement and its role in society, but does not provide specific supports or encouragement regarding trade union membership or recruitment. Responsibility for encouraging workers to join trade unions lies with the trade union movement itself.
An annual grant is paid to assist the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in meeting the cost of providing its Education, Training and Advisory Services (ETAS), which provides training for union officials and activists in affiliated unions. The allocation for 2007 is €1.887m.
The trade union movement also benefits from the Trade Union Support Scheme (TUSS) administered by FÁS. In 2006, the funding provided was €1.227m.
The Department also provides funds to Trade Unions to assist in the costs incurred by unions in the course of amalgamations. The allocation for 2007 allocation is €147,000.
Dáil Éireann 630 Written Answers. Employment Rights.