IBOA, an interesting and "intelligent" union, have today expressed their annoyance at the concentration of public sector issues in national wage agreeements. Perhaps this is because due to a failure to legislate on the issue of union recognition, coupled with massive incentives for TNCs to invest in Ireland, private sector union membership has virtually collapsed. The union is considering withdrawing from Congress in order to negotiate directly with private companies who are profitable enough to deliver fairer deals for their employees.
IBOA, who pulled off a quietly spectacular coup last year in achieving recognition with the normally union-hostile HP on their Bank of Ireland IT contract, which gave a fair deal for HP workers on the contract. This, however, presents a conflicting problem for HP's other workers throughout Ireland, who are denied the right to collective bargaining. Many, of course, are contract workers, but there are a significant number of workers in HP's units at Clonskeagh and Leixlip who would benefit. It would be interesting to see if this will be used to force recognition on other sites?