(cross post from KPWSA)
Labour Party local representatives have been asked by the recently formed Carlow/Kilkenny Public Service Workers Alliance to state clearly where they stand on the Croke Park Deal.
Hacketstown based Dr. Colman Etchingham of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) said “the Labour Party has been trying to box clever on this issue. The most recent opinion poll showed a surge in support for the Labour Party. Some commentators have taken this to mean that public service workers think they would get a better deal if Labour was in Government. NOT SO,” he warned.
Colman continued “workers should be aware that the Labour Party has called for even deeper cuts in the public sector pay bill than FF, Greens, or FG! The Labour Party called for 4.9bn in cuts. Ruairi Quinn (ex-Minister for Finance) has been calling for cuts in this sector since 2008! His comments last weekend underline the fact that Labour hasn’t the intellectual originality or political courage to envisage any alternative to public service cuts, even when an OECD report is available to show they are actually unjustified. The pay cuts (1.3bn this year), although catastrophic for lower paid, and severe for middle and higher income earners, actually make little impact on public sector borrowing requirement, beside 22.5 bn to be poured into Anglo-Irish”.
Carmel McKenna said “ Eamon Gilmore has consistently condemned strikes and other industrial actions by public service workers. He did not see fit in addressing his party’s conference to call for an end to the ban on recruitment or for a reversal of the cuts”.
Carmel concluded “It is quite clear that the Labour Party is lining itself up for another coalition with Fine Gael. It will find a good ally in Leo Varadkar, also in favour of further cuts in the public service. It is now time that the Labour Party stated its position on a deal that will force workers to work longer hours in less safe conditions for less pay. This deal is bad for all workers – IBEC and ISME; wait with interest – with a view to pursuing a race to the bottom in the private sector”.
The Carlow/Kilkenny Alliance will be joining in a nationwide campaign to get candidates to sign a pledge that they will reverse the cuts and defend the principle of public service.
For more information Contact Colman Etchingham 0877583908