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ICTU need to prioritise marches against austerity after banking legislation fiasco - Cullinane

7 February, 2013 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has called on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to intensify its mobilisation for the marches against austerity, planned for Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Limerick, and Waterford on Saturday.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers' Rights was speaking from Leinster House following the rushed passing of the Irish Bank Resolution Bill last night.

“Following last nights disgraceful and farcical scenes, it is likely that the Government will seek to create the impression that they have obtained a substantial banking deal, and that protests and campaigns on our banking debt are unnecessary. This is nonsense.

“The Government has singularly failed to obtain any kind of deal worth talking about. Every last cent of the Anglo-Irish debt will be repaid with no write-down of the debt secured. All they have achieved is to ensure that the odious banking debt, the debts of gamblers and speculators, will weigh as heavily on our children and our grandchildren, as they do on the present generation. And that is nothing to take pride in.

“It is incumbent at this time for the Trade Union movement to show leadership to ordinary working people. It needs to show that the Government have singularly failed to obtain an acceptable deal, and that the Government have tied themselves in for even further austerity.

“In light of last night’s events, it is more important than ever that there is a massive turnout of the Irish Union movement on Saturday to let the Government and the ECB know loud and clear that it is not our debt.”

The Waterford Senator also expressed concern for the future of the former workers of the IBRC

“The first that workers in the IBRC were informed in relation to the liquidation of the institution, and the threat to their jobs, was an email circulated last night. There are more than 800 people employed by the IBRC and they are very concerned for their future.

“The Government has indicated that NAMA is likely to take the majority of these workers on. However, the manner in which they were informed and have been treated is simply not acceptable. I hope that the Government ensures that as many workers as possible can be reemployed on equivalent terms and conditions, and that the Government ensures that any workers who are not taken on receive their entitlements and adequate redundancy packages as a matter of priority.”

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