Cowen Avoids Commitment On Collective Bargaining

The Taoiseach has failed to say collective bargaining in the workplace, enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty, will be extended to workers in Ireland.

Responding to a call from the country's largest trade union, Brian Cowen was unable to give a commitment to the SIPTU before it could recommend a yes vote to its members.

The union's General President, Jack O'Connor, said it was an essential provision in a proper democratic society which applies in one form or other in virtually every other EU country.

Campaigning in Kerry this afternoon, Mr Cowen said collective bargaining for workers could only be dealt with in the context of social partnership talks but that he would do all he could to ensure the issue is dealt with satisfactorily.

As the Lisbon Treaty Referendum campaign enters the crucial final weekend, both sides are expected to step up their canvassing efforts.

The leaders of the three main political parties joined forces for the first time on Monday to make a concerted plea for a 'Yes' vote in Thursday's Lisbon Treaty referendum.

At present, commentators believe the vote hangs on a knife edge.


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