Labour Party attempts to distort the facts in debate on Lisbon

A claim by the Labour Party that the No Campaign have misrepresented the position of the European Trade Union Council (ETUC) is entirely false and a distortion of fact. In a statement issue today by Eamon Gilmore TD, the Labour Leader claims that attempts have been made by “Irish opponents of the Treaty to misrepresent the position of the ETUC…”

However, People Before Profit Alliance have today confirmed that the in fact the ETUC have indeed called for a social progress clause to be added to the Lisbon Treaty. In correspondence with the People Before Profit Alliance in recent weeks, the ETUC confirmed that the ETUC had “asked for a social clause and that our affiliates are aware of it.”

Further to this, John Monks, General Secretary of the ETUC, himself first called for the Social progress Clause in a speech to the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European parliament on the 26th February 2008. The call was reiterated in a statement issued by ETUC itself on the same day.

We note that on March 7th, the Swedish union federation LO welcomed this call and the decision of the ETUC Executive. This was significant given that the Laval case involved Swedish unions. In their statement headed “The ETUC wants a new EU Treaty” LO said; “The ETUC wants to see a special clause, as supplement to the Lisbon Treaty, in which this is made clear, in order to expressly lay down that the EU regulations on free mobility in the future are interpreted in such a way that fundamental human rights are respected.”

Speaking for People Before Profit, Eddie Conlon said “The call for a Social progress Clause confirms our analysis that the Lisbon Treaty is flawed and will not protect the right to strike. The Charter of Fundamental Rights was taken into account by European Court of Justice when it made its decision on the Laval case. Giving the Charter legal status will not change the fact the right to do business across the EU internal market will take precedence over rights contained in the Charter”

The People before Profit Alliance fully support the view of UNITE, Ireland’s second largest trade union, that the only way the Social Progress Clause can be added to the Treaty is by a NO Vote forcing renegotiation.


Contact: Eddie Conlon, People Before Profit, 087 677 5468


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