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When it comes to workers’ rights, The Labour Party wants to pretend that the last five years did not happen - David Cullinane TD

1 June, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

David Cullinane TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, said this evening that while the government makes loud noises about the right to work, it is completely silent when it comes to rights in work. He stated that the Labour Party, in opposition, wants to wrap itself around the Starry Plough and pretend that the last five years did not happen. He said that Labour will be held to account, as will this Fine Gael/Independent government.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“It is not possible to have a right to work without rights in work, and the purpose of this amendment is to put that to the government in very clear and simple terms.

“We also need to point out the sheer hard-neck arrogance of Labour in putting forward a Private Members’ Bill that simply lists all of the things Labour failed to do while part of a government with the largest majority in Dáil history.

“It is as if the last 5 years did not happen. In terms of working people’s lives, we had a disastrous Fine Gael/Labour Government. Inequality rose, poverty levels increased and workers’ rights were diminished. The wealthy and the elites were cosseted while the poor, the disadvantaged and the working classes were abandoned.

“Workers were locked out of their jobs, had their basic rights denied and found a Government unwilling and unable to help. When we think back to the Labour and Fine Gael government we remember the workers in Lagan Brick, Vita Cortex, Talk Talk, La Senza, Clerys, Dunnes Stores and many more. It was an era of sit-in protests as workers occupied their places of work demanding action.

“And what did Labour do? Nothing. They sat in Government and implemented the conservative, Neo-Liberal policies of FG. In the last  election they got what they deserved. The people spoke and passed judgement on their record.

“But today - true to form - Labour is doing what Labour does best.

“After a disastrous term in Government its plan is to spend some time prancing about in opposition throwing radical shapes in a desperate attempt to alter its image.

“Labour will be held to account, and workers’ rights will be fought for.”

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