Public urged to march against austerity
Union leaders have called on the public to support an anti-austerity march in Dublin on November 24th.
At a press conference organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) yesterday, the leaders of unions Siptu, Unite, Mandate and the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) said the protest was against five years of austerity which they said had not worked.
Siptu president Jack O’Connor said it was time for the Government to try something else. “We’re arguing that if you have been trying something for a very long time and it has not worked, and the consequences of it not working have imposed immense misery and suffering on citizens, then it’s time to try something else.”
The protest takes place 11 days before the budget is announced.
While acknowledging the Government had “very limited space to manoeuvre”, Mr O’Connor said it had options. “We’re urging that the remaining burden over the next few budgets would be shifted from the shoulders of working people and on to the shoulders of those who were best able to contribute.”
Mr O’Connor said the Government could not “export its way out of the crisis”, and the unions had a task to “build confidence around an alternative that works”.
General secretary of the CPSU Eoin Ronayne said that for too long, trade union leaders had allowed right-wing elements to “divide workers who have far more in common than they have that keeps them apart”.
He said the anti-austerity campaign would come from a “united trade union movement”.
Unite general secretary Jimmy O'Reilly said the march was just one milestone in a broad-based campaign to demonstrate support for “solutions based on the needs of people”.
DCTU president Michael Kelly estimated the march would draw up to 10,000 people.