Irish workers march against government-EU cuts


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Some of the workers who joined the ICTU’s huge protest march in Dublin on February 21st 2009 explain why they took part.

From News Line daily in Britain:

Saturday, 27 November 2010

IRISH WORKERS MARCH AGAINST AUSTERITY

The President and the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) have urged people to join today’s national demonstration in Dublin, ‘to make their voices heard and insist on a say in shaping their future.’

The national demonstration leaves from Wood Quay to the historic site of the GPO in Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

It will include members of trade unions, community organisations, the unemployed and all of those in society concerned at the forthcoming austerity budget and the four-year plan.

The government plan published on Wednesday proposes a one euro cut to the minimum wage of 8.65 euros per hour and cuts to social welfare.

The ICTU warns that the plan includes a possible assault on the long-standing agreements which protect those in lower paid jobs such as cleaning, catering, construction and hotel work.

It does not set out any strategy for economic recovery and growth or any public investment programme to protect and create jobs.

The plan also proposes a tax on property which will unfairly hit the lower income groups and will bring tens of thousands of those on the lowest wages into the tax net.

There is no provision for a tax on asset wealth.

It fails to explain how the massive debts of the banks can be carried by the Irish people.

According to SIPTU and Congress President Jack O’Connor, the publication of the government’s budgetary plan meant it is now ‘imperative for working people and their families to join the national demonstration’.

He said the essential unfairness of the plan shows that people ‘must not stand idly by while the script for tomorrow is fashioned by a government that has lost its mandate, and inscribed in an unalterable agreement with the money lenders of the world, while the people are completely disenfranchised’.

O’Connor said that in the absence of a general election, today’s march and rally represented ‘the most effective way to insist on a say in the shape of our future’.

Congress General Secretary, David Begg, backed the call and said it was clear that people could not afford to wait until 8th December to protest at what will be a harsh and unfair budget.

The national demonstration has been called in support of Congress proposals on alternative ways to tackle the economic crisis, which include a focus on job creation, investment and growth.

Begg said the scale of the cuts proposed for Budget 2011 is clear evidence that Government strategy is not working.

He said: ‘We have had three austerity budgets to date and we are now in a worse position than when the process started.

‘The deficit is higher, there are more people out of work and emigration has returned.

‘Congress believes there is a better, fairer way to do this and we outlined a number of key proposals in our pre-budget submission.

‘We need to extend the period of adjustment and focus on jobs and growth.’

The European debt crisis intensified Friday, as speculators continued their latest attacks on Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile tensions rose between Germany and European officials over the amount of money to set aside for further bailouts: here.

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