Monday, November 2, 2009

NO to wage & welfare cuts - Support ICTU Day of Action on Friday

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has urged workers and working class communities to turn out in their thousands at the ICTU organised rally in Sligo this Friday (Nov 6). He said it is essential that people make a stand against government plans to impose wage cuts, reductions in social welfare rates and further cutbacks in essential health and education services.

Fridays rally commences from the Blue Lagoon at Riverside in Sligo at 2.30pm. It is part of a series of rallies organised around the country, north and south of the border, by ICTU protesting against planned cutbacks by both the Dublin and Stormont administrations.

Casey said: "Plans by the Dublin government to impose public sector pay cuts and job losses as well as reducing social welfare rates are despicable. Irish workers and social welfare recipients did not create the economic crisis this state is currently in. They must not be made pay for it and any attempt to do so must be vigorously resisted."

He added: "Despite Fianna Fáil and Green party claims that the finance is not there to properly fund our health and education services at current levels and to maintain present welfare and public sector pay rates, they did not hesitate to divert billions of taxpayers money to NAMA in order to bail out the banks."

"They refuse to nationalise the hundreds of billions of euros worth of oil and gas which lies off the Irish coast. The massive wealth which the Corrib gas field and other would generate could be used to ensure that those most in need receive adequate social welfare, wiping out poverty in the process. The wealth could also be used to deliver much needed funding for essential health and education services and to stop further job and pay cuts in the public sector as planned for the budget."

"That Fianna Fáil and the Greens refuse to even discuss utilising that wealth for the benefit of the Irish people, while at the same time targeting low income workers and social welfare recipients for cutbacks, shows the contempt that this administration has for the less well off in our society. If these cutbacks are introduced poverty levels will rise rapidly, as will poverty related illnesses and deaths, placing even more pressure on our already under resourced health service that is unable to cope with current demands."

He concluded: "These cuts must be resisted vigorously. Workers and trade unionists, the unemployed, political activists and working class communities in general need to take to the streets in their thousands on Friday to tell the government that they have had enough and will not be made to pay for the failures of capitalism and the greed and incompetence of the political and business classes. "

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