Speaking in favour of the motion to launch a ‘Decent Work, Decent Lives’ campaign, SIPTU Head of Organising, Joe Cunningham, said: “We must shape the debate around what decent work means in terms of proper wages and conditions. We must demand decent work and decent lives. This campaign will go on for as long as it takes to achieve that for all workers.”
Cunningham said the campaign would be modelled on the highly successful Fight for 15 campaign conducted by low paid workers in the United States.
Proposing the motion, SIPTU National Executive Council member, Bernie Casey, said the campaign was aimed at confronting an exponential growth of precarious employment, characterised by low pay, zero hour contacts and insecurity of tenure. Casey said, “The message from this conference is clear we want fairness, we want our dignity back.”
Also speaking in support of the campaign, SIPTU Community Sector activist, Elaine Harvey, said: “We need a campaign like this so that when people get work they know that it will take them out of poverty.”
The campaign is expected to be launched in the coming weeks and focus on organising workers to struggle for improvements in one sector of the economy at a time. The motion launching the campaign states: “The objective of the campaign will be to highlight abuses and to encourage workers affected, to organise so that they can assert their right to fairness and dignity at work, through the process of Collective Bargaining and to support them in doing so.”