Gov Jibes Oppositiion On Strikes

The Government has called on the Labour Party to "clarify its position" after a second day of strike action was announced by the State's disgruntled unions.

One of Ireland's largest employee bodies, Siptu, announced today that a second round of national strikes would take place on Tuesday November 24.

The Congress of Trade Unon's, who are primarily involved in organising the actions, met yesterday to plan the action for next week.

However, Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins this morning jibed the opposition calling on the Labour Party to clarify their position on the strikes, saying It was becoming increasingly difficult to pinpoint Labour’s policy on important issues.

Mr Collins said: "With a major public sector strike due to take place this day next week, Labour is still vague about where they stand on the issue. Speaking on national radio this morning Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said he was 'not in favour of industrial action'.

"It is clear that the Labour party's link to the trade union movement is not sitting easily with them at the moment.

"The party has publicly criticised elements of ICTU’s 1O point plan such as the proposed top rate of tax of 54%."

Speaking on the strike action this morning, Eamon Gilmore said the industrial action and "strife" is "not what the country needs".

Mr Gilmore questioned the Taoiseach and the Government about what they were doing to avert the action saying they should not sleep walk into a strike.

Meanwhile, Mandate Trade Union today served notice of industrial action on Ireland's Boots pharmaceutical stores.

The union said workers would be placing pickets on all Boots stores throughout the country on Saturday, 28 November.

According to a statement from the union this morning, workers in Boots voted emphatically for industrial action by a margin of two to one in favour last Friday. Mandate say there was an unprecedented turnout of 89% of all members in the ballot for industrial action, clearly demonstrating the democratic nature of the process.

Boots has 918 full time members of staff working in 57 stores in the Republic of Ireland according to the company's own audited accounts.

The issues in dispute include Boots announcing record profits in Ireland while attempting to unilaterally change terms and conditions of their workers including cuts in pay.


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