SIPTU representatives will authorise industrial action in order to secure adequate pay rises across the private sector delegates were told today (Wednesday, 5thOctober), at the union’s Services Division Biennial Delegate Conference in Kilkenny. Addressing over 100 delegates from workplaces across the services sector, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Gerry McCormack,  said: “This idea that workers have to pay the cost for rising inflation is absolute nonsense. We have a policy in our union that across the private sector where our members are dissatisfied with any issue in terms of their pay and once they have gone through the due procedures but are unhappy with the outcome, we will sanction a dispute. “We have had a number of such disputes and we will continue to do that. SIPTU members are not going to beg anymore from employers, we are not going to beg from the Government anymore, we’re going to stand up and defend our livelihoods. “We are not going to have a situation where our members are going to have reduced pay while employers charge people more to go out to restaurants, or buy petrol or whatever it maybe. It is not going to happen.”  McCormack said the report published today by the high-level working group that was set up by the Government to review collective bargaining in Ireland was “very important”. He added: “We now have a European Directive that has been passed into European law and will be transposed into Irish law. It will mean that collective bargaining coverage will have to go from 37% in this country to 80% of the economy. The significance of this law is that an extra one million workers in Ireland will have to be covered by collective bargaining”. McCormack said that this will mean an end to the ability of employers in hospitality and other sectors to refuse to engage with unions concerning the terms and conditions of employment of their members. The SIPTU Services Division Biennial Delegate Conference is taking place today and tomorrow in the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny City.