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Tánaiste Joan Burton

Congress conference opens in Ennis

Almost 700 delegates, observers and visitors from across the island of Ireland are in Ennis this week for the Irish Congess of Trade Unions’ Biennial Delegate Conference (BDC).

Congress represents some 750,000 workers north and south of the border and is the largest civil society body on the island of Ireland.

The 2015 conference theme is ‘Living Wage, Strong Economy’ and over the course of July 7-9 delegates will debate key motions on pay, the economy, low hour contracts, publics services and the proposed TTIP trade deal

BDC 2015 at Treacys West County Hotel will also hear from a number of high-profile speakers, including Tanaiste Joan Burton; Bernadette Segol, the head of the European Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow of the International Trade Union Confederation and Palestinian diplomat Ali Safieh.

The forcus of debate in Tuesday’s opening session was pay and economy, with debate turning to Northern Ireland in the afterrnoon.

Among the keynote speakers will be outgoing Congress president, John Douglas who is expected to call for the Government to take action in relation to employers who fail to engage with the recently re-established system of Joint Labour Committees.

The conference will also hear from Dr Tom Healy of the Nevin Institute on the creation of a new model of economic development across the island of Ireland.

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