Dáil debates

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Wage-setting Mechanisms

9:00 am

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

First, we have not set targets. We have only started the process of real engagement and consultation. That real engagement will only get started in a meeting next month. We have had some initial discussions, and obviously accept the Government's responsibilities in putting an action plan together. However, it is important to say we are a long way short of that 80% figure. Ireland's economy is different from many other economies around Europe. There is not the same demand for union membership and representation in some sectors of the Irish economy as there is in others. I think it is far too early for the Government to be setting a specific target.

What we will do is facilitate and be part of discussions between employers and union representatives to see how we can have an appropriate action plan designed to ensure there are no barriers to the setting up of trade unions in the future and that the action plan is consistent with the approach being asked of us by the European Union, which we buy into. However, it is far too early for me to say what our target should be. I suspect we will have many more question and answer sessions before we finalise the action plan.


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