European election candidates for the Ireland South constituency will debate workers’ rights and what can be done at EU level to improve them at a special hustings in Connolly Hall, Lapps Quay, Cork, today (Monday, 27th May) from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm. 

The hustings are being hosted jointly by SIPTU and the ICTU. Six candidates have confirmed their attendance, they are; Susan Doyle (Social Democrats), Paul Gavan (Sinn Féin), Niamh Hourigan (Labour), Billy Kelleher (Fianna Fáil), Grace O’Sullivan (Green Party) and Cian Prenderville (People Before Profit).

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Ethel Buckley, said: “The meeting will deal specifically with the EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages and its transposition in Ireland as well as the union-led Respect at Work campaign. The new Directive aims to increase workers’ ability to collectively bargain with their employers which the EU sees as a vital strategy to promote greater equality in the economy and society. 

“The issue of worsening inequality in many European societies, including Ireland, underlies the emergence of problems around hate campaigns against migrants and the rise of groups who have been characterised as ‘far-right’.”

She added: “Union activists living and working in the constituency will ask candidates questions about their position on workers’ right to organise a trade union in their workplace and their intentions relating to issues of importance to workers if elected to the European Parliament.”

SIPTU Honorary President Mary O’Sullivan will chair the event and ICTU European Officer Gerry McCormack will also address it.

For more information on the Respect at Work campaign which is jointly led by the Communications Workers Union, Mandate Trade Union, the Financial Services Union and SIPTU, visit