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International May Day – Stand up for yourself – Stand up for each other

1 May, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams & Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald MEP today, MAY DAY, launched the party’s 10 Point Plan for supporting workers through the current recession. Mr. Adams and Ms. McDonald were joined by EU candidate for the North West Cllr. Pádraig Mac Lochlainn who served on the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) National Executive and is currently a board member of InterTrade Ireland.

Speaking from Leinster House Mary Lou McDonald said:

“Irish workers are being forced to carry the can for the economic crisis. Fianna Fáil continues to punish working families and the low paid for their mistakes. But the current crisis offers the people an opportunity – an opportunity to reshape this state.

“Fianna Fáil and the Green’s have pursued a shameful tactic of divide and conquer, pitting the public sector against the private, the low paid against social welfare recipients, in an effort to deflect attention from their own economic failure. This postcolonial style of governing by Fianna Fáil cannot continue to go unchallenged.

“Ireland needs to come out of this crisis with the necessary infrastructure, skills and public services that will put us at the top of competiveness rankings and deliver prosperity and equality for all our people. Fianna Fáil has proved itself unable and unwilling to protect the ordinary people of this state. It’s time for them to go.

“Sinn Féin representatives have been meeting with chambers of commerce, employers groups, trade unions and communities through out the country putting forward our solutions to get Ireland back to work. Workers must be supported and job retention and creation promoted.

“Our proposals to support workers through the recession include a 300 million euro jobs retention fund to subsidise workers in struggling but viable SMEs. We want to increase the school leaving age to 17 and to introduce a scheme to get early school leavers back into education. Take those on or below the minimum wage back out of the tax net. And we need to get construction workers back to work by proceeding with the construction of key infrastructure projects including the construction of 125 schools a year between 2010 and 2013.

“If we are to build a better future it is the skills and efforts of workers that will enable us to do so. With new leadership at the helm we can turn things around. Today Sinn Féin is marking international MAY DAY by launching a 10 Point Plan for supporting workers through the recession. My message to workers today is a straightforward one – Stand up for yourself, Stand up for each other.” ENDS

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