Striking Nipsa workers to get Irish language placards

Striking workers can now opt to have their placards printed in Irish, following a motion passed at the Nipsa trade union annual conference.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 7:10 am
A Nipsa industrial dispute protest in 2019. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A related proposal, advocating that the Irish language is given, where possible, “as much prominence as English in Nipsa communications to members”.

The placards motion stated: “Members should be aware of the availability of these placards for any member who may wish to carry one.

“As far as possible placard messages in the English language should be replicated in its Irish language equivalent.”

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The motion on promoting Irish in Nipsa correspondence, which was passed with 71% in favour.

It said: “This would include, where possible, Nipsa letter head on letters and electronic communications showing in both English and Irish, and, where possible, any correspondence and documents, should be available to members in an Irish translation.”

Supporting the Irish correspondence motion, Nipsa branch secretary Sean Garland said: “Let us be progressive, inclusive, visionary – let us signpost a new tolerance and respect by giving the Irish language its rightful and equal place in our union.”

Welcoming the new Nipsa policy, Sinn Fein MLA Jemma Dolan said: “The Irish language belongs to all of us and these motions enshrine the role of the language in civic dialogue and industrial relations.”

The Fermanagh/South Tyrone representative added: “Giving workers’ representatives the opportunity to communicate workers’ rights issues through the medium of Irish is a really progressive step and I hope that other unions will follow suit and ensure that the Irish language is displayed in campaigns for better rights and entitlements for workers.”