Thursday, 12 July 2012
Industrial Relations (Amendment)(No. 3) Bill 2011: Committee Stage
Feargal Quinn (Independent)
I have listened carefully to the points made by Senators Cullinane and White and both made an understandable and strong case. It seems to me that the Minister has won the argument hands down when he talked about the democratic oversight. It is a real reminder. Senator Cullinane, at the end of his contribution, wondered if when choosing between workers' rights and creating jobs would the Minister have the freedom to decide to handle things differently. The Minister made it clear that he does not have that choice. What would I do if I was given the choice or if I had a Minister who was given a choice between workers' rights or creating jobs? Potential employers would be deterred if they came to Ireland and on examining the legislation found that employment was tightly controlled and workers' rights were strong. We are not talking about that in this case because we have heard what the Minister has said. It seems to me that the question is based on the removal of the term "where he or she considers it appropriate to do so," which Senator Cullinane has proposed. I would like the Minister to have that freedom because it is necessary and essential. He has made a strong case for it and I support the Bill as it stands.