The General Secretary of the Congress of Trade Unions has said the trade union movement in this country is not fit for purpose and needs to be re-structured.
David Begg was speaking at the conference of the Communications Workers' Union in Killarney, County Kerry.
He said all sectors of Irish society had a duty to examine how they operate post-Troika, and that it couldn't be business as usual.
Addressing the trade union movement, Mr Begg said having 48 unions to represent 800,000 people is not compatible with the objective of securing change.
He said the structure of the trade union movement is "too fragmented, too under-resourced, too prone to internal disputation, too reform-resistant and too anchored in inertia" to deal effectively with the challenges facing trade unions.
The structure of the trade union movement here is currently being examined by a Trade Union Commission which has recommended that trade unions be re-organised along sectoral lines.