26/11/2010

Top Unions To Meet IMF and EU Delegation

Officials from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are to meet with members of the EU and International Monetary Fund this morning to voice their opposition to the Government's austerity plan.

Union officials say the four-year strategy is the continuation of the previous two years policies, is driving the State deeper into poverty, and is unfairly weighted against the working poor and vulnerable.

They will argue that Ireland should be given longer than the EU-imposed deadline of 2014 to reduce its deficit to 3% of GDP.

The meeting is on the eve of a major planned protest against the cutbacks, taking place in Dublin tomorrow.

The President and the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Jack O’Connor today urged people to join the national demonstration in Dublin on Saturday, November 27 “to make their voices heard and insist on a say in shaping their future.”

The national demonstration from Wood Quay to the GPO in Dublin’s O’Connell Street will include members of trade unions, community organisations, the unemployed those concerned at the forthcoming austerity budget and the four year plan.

Speaking this morning, Mr O'Connor said the plan, which proposes a €1 cut to the minimum wage of €8.65 per hour and cuts to social welfare, was an "assault" on 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."

Up to 700 gardaí are being deployed to police tomorrow's ICTU protest. Tens of thousands of people are expected on the streets of Dublin for the march.

(DW)

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