SIPTU will head into the next general election aiming to fight for a workers' agenda, its Deputy General Secretary, Ethel Buckley, told the union's Biennial Delegate Conference (BDC) in Galway today. The combative speech – which raised the prospect of "progressive, left-leaning parties leading a government" for the first time in the state's history – also warned that the union would not be "hand in glove" with any administration."We must learn from the lessons of history and not temper our collective strength should a progressive government be put in place," she said, "our members may have played a huge role in building our state, but we are not, and should never be an arm of the state."The housing crisis, spiralling cost of living, insecurity at work, outsourcing and the underfunding of public services were all highlighted as challenges to which SIPTU would aim to promote pro-worker solutions during any forthcoming election.The address placed particular emphasis on the forthcoming transposition of the European Union Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages, which is likely to lead to legislative change over collective bargaining in the Republic of Ireland."We will fight for real collective bargaining," Buckley told the conference, "and to ensure that any new legislation that comes out of the European Directive on collective bargaining coverage does not bypass or diminish trade unions."SIPTU also intends to launch a Right to Organise campaign, which will lobby for the new legislation to strengthen the rights of union members and representatives in the workplace, as well as reforming the Unfair Dismissals Act."We need legislation that takes on the union busters in this country," she said, "so that it will never again be cheap or easy to fire a union activist."