SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Gerry McCormack, has said that robust and comprehensive legislation to grant collective bargaining rights to workers in Ireland is urgent, particularly in light of the Covid-19 crisis and Brexit. He said: “The Covid-19 crisis and the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit have reinforced the urgent need for legislation to grant collective bargaining rights to workers in Ireland. The Covid-19 crisis has disproportionately affected the lives of mainly younger, precarious workers across the hospitality, tourism, retail and other low paid employments in the services sector of the economy. “A ‘no deal’ Brexit will also affect tens of thousands of workers involved in food production, transport, agriculture and other manufacturing and service industries, many of whom are in non-unionised low paid employments with little or no social protections such as proper sick pay, holiday or pension schemes. Many are earning the minimum wage which has just been increased by a derisory 10 cents to just €10.20 an hour from January, 2021. “The Trade Union Representation Bill introduced by Sinn Féin and due to be debated in the Dáil today (Thursday, 8th October) is an opportunity to discuss the importance of collective bargaining for workers and their right to be represented by a trade union. “SIPTU representatives and other Congress unions will continue to campaign to develop robust and comprehensive legislation that can deliver collective bargaining rights for all workers in Ireland.”