As IBEC and the unions go toe to toe as a prelude to the opening and hard bargaining of the partnership talks, it is interesting to consider who doesn't get to be represented at the partnership talks. You! if you work in the private sector.
For the most part people in the private sector aren't members of unions (for reasons both negative and positive) and people in such positions get absolutely no say at all in this process. This is entirely a discussion by unions on behalf of those working in the public sector, employers - which includes the government - and the social partners and the state about how to manage the money that is generated from the productive endeavour of others and which is collected by means of the taxes they levy on these productive sectors of the economy i.e. those who make things that people buy and small businesses who sell their services locally. Makes you wonder doesn't it? We're baking the pie but the people above are deciding how it is sliced up and how big a slice we get.