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Labour Party attacking Sinn Féin to cover up its own betrayal of workers

23 September, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has attacked the Labour party for deliberately misleading workers after Eamonn Gilmore claimed Sinn Féin should use its position in government in the Northern Assembly to increase the minimum wage. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the minimum wage in the Six Counties is set by London and cannot be increased by the Assembly government. He accused the Labour party of going on the offensive with Sinn Fein in an attempt to cover up its own betrayal of workers.

Deputy O Snodaigh said:

“Everybody knows the Labour party gave up on workers years ago when it decided to pursue coalition power over workers’ rights. Its marriage to Fine Gael shows the extent it is willing to go in its quest for power, but it appears willing to undermine its own guiding principles – as can be seen by its policy stated twice this year to withdraw trade union membership tax reliefs from workers.

“Its attacks on my party yesterday are an obvious attempt to cover up its own betrayal of workers. The Labour party knows the minimum wage in the North is set by London, not the Northern Assembly. This is just one of the many problems Sinn Fein continuously highlights concerning the setting of laws by a London government for Irish people. We would welcome Labour’s support in trying to change those laws, but puerile and misleading insults are hardly the way to go.

“In 2006 Sinn Fein highlighted the problems with the minimum wages north and south in our Workers’ rights policy document, a comprehensive paper received well by trade unions on both sides of the border. Our position on the wage is that it should be set at 60% of the average industrial wage across the island.

“The Labour party are welcome to join our campaign on the minimum wage and get back to their alleged roots of supporting workers. Their support of Lisbon however reveals that Labour is an establishment party that just wants the crumbs of power, not to instigate any real change on this island.” ENDS

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