I too would like to commend the outgoing General Secretary of ICTU
David Begg who has worked vigorously on behalf of his members through some of the most difficult years this country has seen.
At the ICTU
centre, CE workers help members of the public with CVs, welfare rights, job applications and access to their entitlements.
The Minister concluded by thanking officials from his Department, relevant offices and agencies as well as all the various other stakeholders including ICTU
, IBEC and the MRCI involved in this process for their work in reaching this conclusion.
president Eugene McGlone said: "Sometimes, because of the various demands of life and the pressures, especially in times of enforced austerity, we overlook the need to celebrate the achievements of organised workers.
assistant general secretary Peter Bunting said the next Stormont Executive should join with the other devolved administrations in the UK to form a united front against Treasury cuts.
At a meeting the ICTU
unanimously endorsed the outcome of the union ballots which rejected Croke Park II.
The march, organised by ICTU
after last week's brutal four-year plan, passed peacefully, but a splinter group of activists later broke away and marched to the Dail, where riot police, some on horseback, watched nervously as masked men burnt bungling Taoiseach Brian Cowen in effigy.
assistant general secretary Peter Bunting said people in Belfast knew more about suffering and conflict than those bent on war.
assistant general secretary Sally Anne Kinahan urged people to bring their children along, warning it is future generations that will be saddled with the debt.
The former TD is eager to win back his seat in the Dail, and has sought to impress the leadership with his attacks on the beards of the ICTU
in the Press and the Seanad.
Particular praise must go to trades unions - especially Tom Gillen of the ICTU
- for the fantastic way they have handled death threats in recent days.
The proposal, which was put forward by ICTU
and IBEC, was accepted by Siptu after consideration.