Ireland - Failure to uphold international labour rights - June 30, 2016

The government has been called on to explain its failure to properly uphold the rights of all workers to collectively bargain with their employer - specifically freelance workers - before a hearing of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva. The ILO hearing follows a formal complaint in 2011 from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions that Ireland had repeatedly failed to honour and give effect to ILO Conventions, on the right of freelance workers to bargain collectively with their employer. As a member state and a signatory to ILO Conventions the government will be required to attend the hearing and account for this failure. The effective ban on freelance workers engaging in collective bargaining follows a ruling of the Competition Authority in 2004, which categorised individual freelance workers as ‘business undertakings’.

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For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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