Newly appointed SIPTU Manufacturing Divisional Organiser, Neil McGowan, has highlighted pay increases and utilising the EU Directive which calls for an expansion of collective bargaining to organise in new workplaces as his top priorities.

Neil takes over the role of Manufacturing Divisional Organiser following the election of Greg Ennis as SIPTU Deputy General Secretary at last years Biennial Delegate Conference.

He said: The cost of living crisis remains a key issue for our members so pay increases are on the agenda across the sector. However, we must also focus on organising members within workplaces where workers right to collective bargaining is recognised and companies where an opportunity may arise due to the new EU Directive which will be transposed into Irish law this November. This Directive, if its aims are respected, should result in the Government moving to make union organising easier. The right to organise into the Union is a demand of many workers in the manufacturing sector, if we are successful in removing some of the barriers to this happening then we can expect many new members to join the Division.

However, McGowan is also alert to the challenges facing the sector due to everincreasing automation and the impact of Artificial Intelligence on production processes. These are issues we cannot hide away from and necessitate the development of new ways of organising workers and a proactive approach by the Union.

Neil has been a full-time SIPTU Organiser since 2012 having previously worked in the Aviation Sector and most recently the Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Medical Devices Sector. He lives in Sligo with his partner and two children.

Picture: SIPTU Manufacturing Divisional Organiser, Neil McGowan, addressing the annual James Connolly Commemoration in Arbour Hill, Dublin 7, on 12th May.