Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union
|Full name||Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union|
|Native name||An Ceardchumann Seirbhísí, Tionsclaíoch, Gairmiúil agus Teicniúil|
|Key people||Jack O'Connor, general president
Joe O'Flynn, general secretary
Patricia King, vice president
|Office location||Dublin, Ireland|
SIPTU (Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union; Irish: An Ceardchumann Seirbhísí, Tionsclaíoch, Gairmiúil agus Teicniúil) is Ireland's largest trade union, with around 200,000 members. Most of these members are in the Republic of Ireland, although the union does have a Northern Ireland branch. Its head office, Liberty Hall, is in Dublin, and regional headquarters are located in Kilkenny, Galway, Cork and Monaghan. SIPTU is affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and to the Irish Labour Party.
The union was formed in 1990 with the merger of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union and the Federated Workers' Union of Ireland. The merger was first proposed in the 1950s, and almost happened in 1969.
SIPTU is a general union which organises across the public and private sectors in Ireland and has large numbers of members working in construction, health, education, transport and manufacturing. It has a longterm commitment to delivering a 'Social Solidarity Service' and has developed a leadership role in the areas of rights for unemployed persons, people with disabilities and older persons. In recent years the union, as part of its ideal in promoting 'Fairness at Work and Justice in Society' includes the organisation of migrant workers in Ireland and in campaigning on the twin issues of the exploitation of migrant workers, particularly those from Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, and the consequent displacement of Irish workers from employment.
The union established an Organising Unit in 2004 and its president, Jack O'Connor, set as his objective the transformation of SIPTU - hitherto firmly committed to a servicing agenda - into an organising union. It remains to be seen how (and whether) a commitment to the organising model of trade unionism can be reconciled with the union's traditional support for national 'Social Partnership'.
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