8 December 2005 Edition

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SIPTU President attacks EU Services Directive

The Irish Ferries' dispute provides a dramatic warning of the kind of onslaught we face on workers' pay and conditions if the proposed EU Services Directive goes through in anything like its original form, SIPTU General President Jack O'Connor said earlier this week.

"The proposed Directive is designed to cover a large array of services, from architects, management consultants and travel agents, to car rental companies and, more ominously, employment agencies and health care services. Its 'country of origin' principle would allow companies from member states with minimal labour standards to undermine those won by workers in other member states and indeed undermine companies that have hitherto provided such services by adhering to such standards.

"The Directive would also allow Irish companies to relocate operations in member states with low standards and continue to trade in the Irish market"

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