Two of Ireland's largest trade unions have announced their official positions on the Lisbon Treaty, where they support opposite sides of the argument and advise their member to vote accordingly.
The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) has said it is advising members to vote 'No', while the Civil and Public Service Union (CPSU) has said it will be calling for a 'Yes' vote.
The national executive of the TEEU, which is the country's largest craft union, has joined the 'No' camp and advises its 45,000 members to reject the Lisbon Treaty on June 12th.
It says it favours a social Europe, but points out that recent key judgments by the European Court of Justice show that the pendulum has swung clearly against workers' rights and in favour of big business.
The CPSU, which has about 13,000 members, has said it will be calling for a 'Yes' vote.
This is not such a surprise, as most members of the CPSU are employees of government departments and state agencies, and as such not entirely free and objective in their views on a treaty that is so heavily promoted by the government they serve.
Of course the official advise of the trade unions is not binding for their members, and everyone is free to vote according to their own views and decision.
The UNITE trade union (formerly called ATGWU) has already declared its opposition to the Lisbon Treaty some time ago, predominantly on the same grounds as the TEEU, and joined the 'No' campaign.
And while SIPTU is still weighing the pros and cons of the treaty internally, many SIPTU members - including local organisers and shop stewards - are already actively campaigning against the acceptance of the Lisbon Treaty.
The two recent judgments in the European Court, based on the new positions the Lisbon Treaty has created, are indeed alarming for workers in Ireland and all over Europe, as well as for trade unions.
As a spokesman of the Swedish trade union council put it quite clearly after the first judgment: "A few more decisions like this, and the European trade union movement will be dead and workers' rights will be the playing ball of big industry."
The Emerald Islander