PDFORRA Calls for the Immediate Implementation of the European Social Charter

By Industrial Relations Officer

PDFORRA, the association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew of the Permanent Defence Force, today called on the Government to immediately implement the European Social Charter.

Speaking at the PDFORRA Annual Delegate Conference in Sligo today, Ger Guinan, Deputy General Secretary, said “The European Social Charter obliges its signatory states, including Ireland, to implement a range of social rights and principles which should be applied to their citizens.  The rights promoted by the Charter have been brought into sharp focus by the success of a collective complaint by the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) regarding matters such as the right to organise and the right to engage in collective bargaining including collective action”.

PDFORRA has recently written to the Department of Defence outlining how the current restrictions on PDFORRAs right to organise and engage in collective bargaining including collective action are a violation of articles 5 and 6 of the European Social Charter.

Mr Guinan also said: “The main issues to be addressed include the lifting of the restriction on PDFORRA being a member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), the efficiency of the current conciliation and arbitration mechanisms and the mode and extent of collective action.  Underlying these rights is the complementary right of PDFORRA, and its individual members to freedom of assembly and speech”.

Mr Guinan concluded by saying that “I want to call on the Minister here today to make a statement that he will immediately instruct his officials to start work with PDFORRA to ensure that the rights of free speech and free assembly are fully realised in the Defence Sector”.


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