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Ó Snodaigh commends day of action by Wives and Partners of the Defence Forces

20 April, 2017 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Defence Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has lent his support for a day of action that has been organised by Wives & Partners of the Defence Forces (WPDF) who are campaigning for better pay and conditions for military personnel.

The WPDF are picketing a number of barracks across the state to highlight what Deputy Ó Snodaigh described as “the Government’s shameful treatment of the men and women serving in the Defence Forces”.

The Dublin South-Central TD said:

“Today’s protests are in response to Government cuts to pay and allowances that have greatly impacted on the morale of members of the Defence Forces which has led to unprecedented dropout rates and low morale.

“When I met earlier this year with the WPDF, they explained how their families were finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet to the point that thousands are now in receipt of Family Income Supplement supports.

“The financial pressure on families is so pronounced that the Defence Forces is no longer considered a secure career option and cuts to pay and allowances have resulted in the haemorrhaging of specialist and experienced personnel which has reduced the greatly reduced the capacity to function at even a minimum capacity.

“Today’s protests by the WFDO are an act of desperation by the wives and partners of military personnel whose service to their country is being taken for granted.

“One of the reasons that the Government has been able to impose such unfair cuts on military personnel is that they have prevented representative associations such as PDFORRA from participating in national pay-bargaining bodies. This is something that needs to be addressed and is why I tabled a Bill last week that would allow members of the Garda and Defence Forces the right to join a union so they can have a meaningful say in pay negotiations.

“In the meantime, today’s protests by the WFDO must serve as a wake-up call to the Government that they can no longer continue with policies which impoverish members of the Defence Forces and their supportive partners and families.” 

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