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Irish Ferries dispute "reflective of bargain basement Europe ethos" - Mary Lou McDonald

3 November, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today said that the treatment of Irish Ferries workers is "indicative of the bargain basement approach to workers' rights throughout the EU".

Ms McDonald made her comments before she attended a rally in Dublin City Centre in support of workers at Irish Ferries. The march will begin at 1:30pm at Liberty Hall and make its way to the Dail.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"I am attending today‚s rally in support of over 500 workers who are about to be displaced from their jobs, and in solidarity with those low cost third country nationals who are set to replace them.

"Sinn Féin believes that with real political will, this issue can be resolved at both a national and European level. Over this past number of weeks I have met with the Trade Unions and the Irish EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy to press the case for support on the Irish Ferries issue.

"The Irish Ferries dispute is not a stand alone issue. It is indicative of the bargain basement approach to workers‚ rights and conditions throughout the EU, and the widespread drive towards privatizing everything that moves. Sinn Féin opposes this approach as history and experience dictates that it can only lead to price increases, a marked decrease in the service provided and increases in the cost of provision according to consumer associations. In addition, this process contributes to destroying jobs and invariably leads to the creation of private monopolies.

"Sinn Féin is up for the fight of protecting our public services, and creating an alternative to the politics of privatization both at home and within the EU." ENDS

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