United Left Alliance – Major protest outside Dáil for debate on IMF deal next Wednesday announced

Published Categorized as Uncategorized
Press Statement – United Left Alliance

10 December 2010

UNITED LEFT ALLIANCE COMMENCE MOBILISATION FOR D?IL PROTEST AGAINST
IMF/EU AND BUDGET MADNESS DURING DEBATE AND VOTE NEXT WEDNESDAY

ULA LAUNCH URGENT APPEAL TO PUBLIC, UNIONS AND CIVIC SOCIETY FOR
MASSIVE PROTEST AND STRIKES TO STOP IMF/EU HANDOVER

FINE GAEL AND LABOUR CHALLENGED TO SCRAP IMF DEAL AND REPEAL OTHER
BUDGET ATTACKS ON WORKERS AND THE POOR

At a press conference today, the recently formed United Left Alliance
called on the public and civil society to join a major demonstration
at Dáil Eireann on the evening of the forthcoming vote on the IMF/EU
four-year austerity programme. The protest will assemble at the Dáil
at 6pm on Wednesday 15th December.

In the wake of what the ULA called a “vicious and suicidal” budget,
the ULA repeated its call for a general strike to stop the IMF/EU deal
and force a retreat on the budget attacks on workers and the poor.

The ULA said also that Fine Gael and Labour must now “put up or shut
up” by giving firm pledges to scrap the IMF deal and reverse budget
measures targeting workers and the poor.

Cllr Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit and ULA candidate for
Dun Laoghaire said:

“With the Dail now voting on this insane IMF/EU plan to wreck our
society and destroy our economy, it is vital that there is a massive
mobilisation to stop this madness. The government’s budget was a
vicious and suicidal assault on our society that deliberately targeted
working people, the poor and the most vulnerable, in order to protect
the rich and the financial vultures that caused the crisis in the
first place.

“It is an absolute outrage that the ICTU and major trade unions have
failed to call strikes against the most brutal assault on working
class people in the history of the state. It will be nothing short of
collaboration with the government and their IMF masters if they fail
to do so now.

“We appeal to the public, to rank and file trade union members and
civic society as a whole to urgently mobilise for next Wednesday’s
demonstration and to move from there to national strike action to stop
this insane IMF deal and these disgusting budget measures.

“We must also demand that Fine Gael and Labour put up or shut up by
giving clear and unequivocal pledges that they will scrap this IMF
package and reverse the budget attacks on workers and the vulnerable.
If they fail to do this, all their angry rhetoric against the
government is worth nothing and they show themselves to be part of the
problem, not the solution.?

Cllr Clare Daly, Socialist Party and ULA candidate for Dublin North said:

“The trade union movement, particularly those unions which organise in
the private sector have a serious fight on their hands, as the cutting
of the minimum wage is a green light to employers, especially in the
retail, catering, security, hospitality and other sectors, to
immediately implement an effective 11% pay cut on the lowest paid.

“Likewise, the Registered Employment Agreements, which refer to the
minimum wage as a baseline and apply to more workers than the minimum
wage itself, will be under attack.

“This, taken together with the reformed universal public charge which
benefits the super high earners at the expense of the low paid, is
intolerable.

“For the government to compare the cosmetic pay cut they gave
themselves to what they have just imposed on low paid workers is an
utter scandal. Fine Gael and Labour’s verbal opposition to this cut is
not matched by a commitment to repeal it when they take power in a few
months.

“The Socialist Party and the ULA call for a massive unionising drive
in the sectors most affected by the minimum wage cut and for a
fighting strategy that will protect and improve pay and conditions.”

Cllr Joan Collins, People Before Profit and the ULA candidate for
Dublin South Central said:

“It is absolutely urgent that we take to the streets against this
disgusting budget and the IMF/EU programme to destroy our society in
the interests of bankers and bondholders. This budget of many cuts
will be a step too far for many families.

“With attacks on social welfare, the minimum wage, child benefit and
training allowances and increases in taxes for the lower paid, workers
and the unemployed will be faced with stark choices. It has become
increasingly difficult to pay all the bills, feed the family and get
the kids educated. This heartless government and their IMF/EU pals
have made the decision to drive more families and their children into
poverty.

“Brian Lenihan’s claims that these brutal measures are necessary
‘adjustments’ to deal with the current economic and financial crisis
are utterly dishonest spin to mask a deliberate and ruthless decision
to make working people and the poor pay for the crisis, while
protecting the super-wealthy and those responsible for the economic
crash.

“This government and the usurers of the financial system deserve to
rot in hell for the suffering they are planning to inflict on innocent
and vulnerable people.?

Joe Higgins MEP, Socialist Party and ULA candidate for Dublin West said:

“Fianna Fáil and the Greens can now best be described as a Kamikaze
government. They are reconciled now to their imminent electoral
annihilation but continue in the meantime to go beyond the call of
duty for the capitalist establishment in making working people pay for
the crisis.

“So the protests must be sustained but it will take an escalation in
the form of strike action to drive this government out of office in
short time and force a retreat on their cutback agenda. Jack O’Connor
gave a non committal reply earlier this week when asked about strike
action. I ask him, does he have no inkling of what his members are
being put through?

“I encourage ordinary union members and activists to add their names
to the petition initiated by the United Left Alliance calling for
action and to demand from their general secretaries that they support
the motion being brought by UNITE to the ICTU Executive committing the
movement to organising strike action against the budget cuts.

“Time is of the absolute essence in organising militant opposition to
this government given the pace of the attacks on working people and
the unemployed.”

ENDS