Waking Up, Taking Action
Wednesday 14 April 2010, 02pm
Mandate Trade Unions’ 7th Biennial Conference takes place in the Radisson Hotel in Galway on Sunday, 25 April 2010. This year’s conference is entitled, Waking Up, Taking Action and as the name suggests, Mandate wants to encourage its members to be more aware of issues that effect them and participate and contribute fully in society, beginning with this conference.
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The conference is one of the main opportunities for members to have an input in Mandate’s policies for the future. This includes motions for conference which cover a broad range of issues from calls for a decent living income to reforming union structures.
The title, Waking Up, Taking Action, shows Mandate is committed to ensuring that its members are represented as strongly as possible in all aspects of society. As such, we are actively encouraging all conference participants to begin “Taking Action” at this conference. We hope that all representatives will be in a position to partake fully.
John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary said, “The reason we have these conferences is to ensure that we, in head office, know what the members want. We would like to listen to what the members are experiencing, what their opinions are and how they want Mandate to pursue their interests which will make their lives better. After all, everybody is aware that this is their union and we are only here to facilitate them as best we can.
“Hopefully all of the conference participants will have the opportunity and the confidence to speak at this year’s conference. There are issues to be discussed which will have a major impact on our member’s lives, and indeed their family’s lives in the future. We hope that all voices are adequately represented and we are calling on people to be confident, make their points clear and help in the development of union policies,” said Mr Douglas.
Some of the items to be discussed at the conference include:
• A Vision For The Future, a Decent Living Income for all;
• Union affairs such as: recruitment and organising, membership benefits communications and education;
• Irish economic and social issues such as: a fairer better way, the minimum wage, a statutory annual holiday on St. Stephens Day and the publication of company profits;
• Issues that effect Mandate members including part time workers hours, the Private Security License fee, Sunday working, the erosion of terms and Conditions including pay reductions;
• Other issues including education and health – Including the cervical vaccination programme, cancer screening, Breastcheck and dental and optical cutbacks;
• Finally, social issues such as home repossessions, PRSI thresholds, the mismanagement of the economy and social welfare cuts.
The conference will also be discussing Mandates need for recruitment of new members in order to have a more powerful voice in both society and the workplace. Part of this is a new initiative entitled the Mandate Membership Week which takes place from the 24 – 28 May 2010.
Brian Forbes, Mandate’s National Coordinator of Campaigns said, “The idea behind the Mandate Membership Week is to encourage existing members to see the benefits of recruiting new members to the union. In order to increase our influence to the betterment of our members, we need to increase our membership and activists on the ground. We envisage that the Mandate Membership Week will become an annual occurrence which will enable Mandate to grow to its full potential and represent workers as fully and successfully as possible.