Dear Deputy {insert TD’s surname},

I am writing to express my deep concern about the continued exclusion of Irish Defence Forces personnel from the right to industrial action and access to labour unions with collective bargaining power.

Over the years, the thousands of men and women who serve this country have been treated with utter disregard for their mental or physical, and financial well-being. They have been subjected to cuts in their pays and allowances, exposed to harsh and deadly drugs and chemicals, and denied any substantial consultation in regards to their working conditions. By barring them from joining any umbrella organisation, such as the ICTU, they have been kept out of national negotiations conducted on their behalf. Essentially, enlisted personnel have been kept in the dark in regards to the implementation of innumerous detrimental administrative policies that have had an adverse effect on their very lives, and the lives of their families.

I remind you that the service men and women of this country take on more physical risks and spend more time overseas away from their families than their government security counterparts in the Gardaí and prisons. Yet this government chooses to essentially turn a blind eye as more and more soliders, sailors, and airmen and women have had to resort to social welfare programmes and additional part-time work just to make ends meet. As of 2013, there were over 20% of enlisted personnel in receipt of Family Income Support.

Countries across Europe such as Belgium, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark have a long history of labour unionisation amongst their defence forces. While a complaint by EUROMIL against the Irish state was submitted in late 2014, I do not think it is appropriate or possible for the men and women serving this country to wait any longer for their voices to be heard. They are suffering greatly, and this government only continues to silence them.

Bearing all of the above in mind, I would be grateful if you could please bring this matter to the Dáil Éireann, and seek the appropriate legislative measures necessary to ensure the following:

  1. Any legal restraints surrounding the right to trade unionisation in the Irish Defence Forces be removed
  2. Immediate wage restoration be put in place for all military, naval, and air force personnel
  3. Universal full-coverage medical care and support for all enlisted men and women, and their families

 

Given the evident urgency of the matter, I look forward to your swift response.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

INSERT YOUR NAME

INSERT YOUR ADDRESS

INSERT YOUR DAY TIME TELEPHONE NUMBER