SIPTU president Jack O'Connor has warned that the union will engage in a sustained industrial campaign if agreement cannot be reached on a new national recovery programme.

The union has given the Government a deadline of 1 May to establish whether an agreement can be reached with the social partners on a new deal.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Mr O'Connor warned that SIPTU would engage in industrial action if the parties to the talks could not find the basis for an agreement that would address the key issues facing workers.

Talks on a National Recovery Plan are due to resume on Wednesday. They had broken up on 5 April ahead of the Supplementary Budget.

A draft text was presented for consideration at that time.

Mr O’Connor said today that his union would not conclude an agreement which does not address key issues for workers and provide a mechanism by which the public can reap a dividend out of current dismal circumstances.

A Government spokesman said that Mr O’Connor’s comments had been noted and there would a discussion with Congress on Wednesday.