Home carers planning protest

Mon, Oct 15, 2012, 01:00

A home help and home care workers’ protest planned for Dublin this Wednesday is to be followed by a universal day of action planned for November 24th, a press conference in Dublin has been told.

The Home Help/Home Care Community Action Group said proposals to reduce services by 450,000 home-help hours would substantially degrade the quality of life of elderly and disabled recipients of care.

Elaine O’Grady a home care worker from Dublin said there was widespread fear of the impact of cuts in terms of patient care. “I’ve already seen reductions like an hour’s vital care being reduced by a half. These cost-cutting measures are affecting the quality of life of patients. Any further cuts to the hours on offer will have a devastating impact on home help service” she said.

Samantha Byrne said home care workers were not protected by the Croke Park deal between the unions and the Government and she called on members of trade unions to support the march, which will take place from the GPO at 3pm on November 24th, marching to Leinster House.

Also speaking at the press conference, Richard Boyd Barrett said a united day of action involving the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, Unite and at least individual branches of Siptu was being planned. Mr Boyd Barrett said “workers were being savaged” and were close to “a tipping point” at which a general strike would take place.

Mr Boyd Barrett also urged union members to request that their union dues no longer be used to fund the Labour Party. He said workers could do this by signing a form and it did not mean not paying dues to their union, “just that portion of the dues that goes to the Labour Party, no longer go to the Labour Party".

He said it was “crazy” that that the party was in Government imposing cuts on workers who were in turn funding the Labour Party. “Cracks are starting to appear in the Labour Party because of the imposition of cuts and I welcome those cracks,” he said.

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