Wednesday, April 29, 2009

éirígí slam scrapping of Social Welfare Christmas bonus

Tir Chonaill éirígí spokesperson Micheál Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig has slammed the Fianna Fáil led administration over their decision to scrap the Christmas bonus payment for Social Welfare recipients. He has also challenged all of Donegals deputies that voted for this measure in leinster house to publicly justify their decision.

MacGiolla Easbuig was speaking following the passage of the Social Welfare Bill 2009 in leinster house on Thursday last April 23.

MacGiolla Easbuig said: “The decision of this administration to target some of the most vulnerable sections of our society by scrapping the Social Welfare Christmas bonus is truly shocking. The extent of the hardship and increased poverty that this measure will inflict on many families already struggling to survive and to make ends meet should not be underestimated. The fact that this administration are willing to inflict such hardship only shows how completely out of touch with the reality of the lives of social welfare recipients they are.”

He added: “For many families on low incomes and particularly social welfare, Christmas can be a very stressful time. Parents stretch themselves to their limits to make ends meet and still provide clothes and toys for their children to make it a happy occasion for them. The Social Welfare bonus for many families was their lifeline. Now that it has been so cruelly taken away by an uncaring administration, many families will now be forced elsewhere to try to make ends meet and to provide for their children. What this will mean is more and more families being forced into the clutches of greedy and unscrupulous moneylenders.”

“These families are now being made scapegoats and been made to pay for the incompetence and greed of this administration and their wealthy business cronies. This was a deliberate attack on the most vulnerable in this state by an administration that has consistently shown their contempt for the less well off in our society. Once again it will be children and the elderly that will suffer the brunt of increasing poverty and hardship caused by their shameful decision scrapping this social welfare payment.”

He concluded: “Donegal has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country yet deputies from this county are willing to add to peoples hardship here by supporting this measure. Deputies Mary Coughlan and Pat ‘the cope’ Gallagher voted to support this savage cutback while their party colleagues Niall Blaney and James McDaid were so unconcerned by this measure that they did not even bother turning up to vote. These deputies should hang their heads in shame for their actions and I am challenging every single one of them to publicly justify their decision to target social welfare recipients in this manner.”

Support for Tesco Workers

Workers picketing the Douglas store éirígí spokesperson Daithí Mac An Mhaistír has extended the socialist republican party’s support to the Cork Tesco workers who took strike action today [Wednesday].

The Douglas-based workers took the action after Tesco refused to honour established terms and conditions when moving staff to a new store in the area.

Daithí said: “Tesco are acting in blatant contravention of an agreement they had with the workers that established terms and conditions would be respected when staff moved to a new store.

“The company is obviously trying to take advantage of the economic crisis to attack the conditions and pay of vulnerable workers. In a disgraceful move, staff were threatened that, if they took strike action, they would be locked out without pay until June. These are clearly bully boy tactics.”

Daithí continued: “The workers in Douglas are to be commended for the stand they have taken. At a time when employers are slashing jobs and undermining rights, it is important to recognise that the situation isn’t a hopeless one.

“Workers in places like Tesco have demonstrated that firm action can put unscrupulous employers under pressure and highlight intolerable situations. The Mandate union must ensure that these workers are given all the support that is necessary.”

éirígí appalled at closure of stroke unit at Sligo General Hospital

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has described yesterday’s announcement that the Health Service Executive (HSE) is to close the 16-bed stroke unit at Sligo General Hospital, with the loss of 22 jobs, as “deplorable”.

Casey said: “Once again, what we are seeing is the removal and downgrading of essential services at Sligo General Hospital and other hospitals throughout the north-west. This latest action, which sees 22 job losses, including 15 nursing posts, will have a serious impact on patient care for stroke patients at Sligo General Hospital.”

He added: “This decision, coupled with the planned withdrawal of cancer services from the hospital, is clear evidence of an administration that has repeatedly shown a callous disregard for the health and wellbeing of the people of this region. It also puts paid to the lie being put about by the HSE that job losses won’t effect patient care. The care of these patients will now be spread throughout the hospital, adding to the workload of an already over-burdened medical staff and will cause difficulties in trying to provide the specialist care required by stroke victims. ”

He concluded: “This decision, along with other moves to downgrade services such as cancer care, must be reversed in their entirety. The HSE and their political masters appear more intent on implementing their right-wing policies of privatisation and two-tier health services rather than creating a first class health service available and accessible to all. The health and well-being of people must take priority and must suffer as a result of the greed of politicians, developers and bankers that have squandered the wealth of the Celtic Tiger.”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

éirígí slam latest Health Service nursing cutbacks

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has slammed the Health Service Executive (HSE) and their political masters in the Fianna Fail led administration after it emerged that the HSE are planning major cutbacks in the numbers of people employed by them in essential front-line or support services such as nursing. He also rubbished claims by the HSE that these cuts would not effect front line services.

Casey said: “The HSE have decided not to renew somewhere in the region of 14,000 temporary contracts and 3,000 locum contracts of employees who carry out essential front-line or support services, including nursing. According to the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO), that will mean the loss of probably 300 to 400 nurses here in the Northwest alone.”

He added: “Claims by the HSE that front line services will not be effected by these job losses are complete rubbish. This is a major blow to an already under pressure and under resourced health service and is set to have major repercussions for people in need of vital services as well as patient safety.”

“This Fianna Fail led administration has repeatedly shown a callous disregard for the health and well being of the people of this region. Patient safety and well-being must not be made to suffer or pay for the greed and incompetence of the politicians, developers and bankers that have squandered the wealth of the Celtic Tiger. These latest cutbacks are, once again, the actions of an administration that has completely failed the people they claim to represent. ”

He concluded: “They must reverse these cutbacks and abandon completely their failed policies of a two–tier system and privatisation of health care, all of which is based on a failed right wing ideology. Their system has failed but there is a clear, workable and just alternative. What is now needed more than ever is the building of a first class health service that is truly free and equal, based on medical need and not ability to pay."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

éirígí launch scathing attack over anti-worker budget

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has launched a scathing attack on Fianna Fáil following the budget on Tuesday. He accused them of deliberately targetting workers to pay for their failed economic policies and to bail out the banks and their developer friends.

Casey said: “Contrary to the claims of some Fianna Fáil Ministers prior to its introduction, the measures in Tuesday’s budget were not fair. The increased taxes and cuts in benefits will disproportionally impact on low income workers and those on social welfare. Families who were already struggling to survive and make ends meet as a result of last Octobers savage budget cutbacks, recent pay cuts and soaring unemployment now face into an uncertain future with their living standards due to deteriorate considerably as a result of Tuesday’s budget.”

He added: “Particularly reprehensible have been the cuts in social welfare. Their decision to halve unemployment benefits for under – 20’s and to scrap the Christmas bonus for social welfare recipients is set to cause serious hardship for many families and drive many into the hands of greedy and unscrupulous moneylenders.”

“All of this stands in stark contrast to the administrations bail out of the banks and their developer friends. The administration’s response to this economic crisis has not been to make those responsible for it pay but to instead make their victims pay. While they have turned the screw on the living standards of workers and the most vulnerable in society they are more than content to further supplement the business classes extravagant and wealthy lifestyles.”

He concluded: “This administration has shown clearly where their loyalties lie. They are inflicting untold suffering and poverty on working class families throughout this state. This is a government which needs put into solvency. These measures must now be resisted by all means necessary by the trade unions, by working class communities throughout this state and by political parties that represent workers interests.” ENDS