The Women In The Building Trades Conference was held on May 1st and was hosted by the American Building Trades Unions who hope also to have those same women participate fully in the relevant union.
Councillor Corrigan explained how she had been asked to attend. “I was invited by Patti Devlin, one of the organisers of the Labourers International Union of North America. She invited me because of my background and experience in construction as an on-site Health and Safety officer. I was delighted to be one of over 1,000 delegates from all over America and abroad”.
The Louth Councillor continued “America has always been very interested in Irish Republicanism and our struggle for equality and were eager to hear about what life was like in Ireland for workers and their rights in these times of austerity that are being imposed upon us”.
Edel received a great welcome and there was quite a bit of interest as she pointed to “the common causes shared by workers worldwide, particularly women, which include a living wage, equal pay and the right to join a union”.
“Many of the difficulties women workers face here are no different than in America. Women are generally found doing low paid work, forced to accept zero or low hours contracts which only emphasise the need for strong union rights and representation. There was a lot of interest in Sinn Féin in general and our vision Ireland”.