First strike against levy takes place on Thursday


FURTHER PROTESTS:THIS COMING week will see the first strike action in protest at moves by the Government and the semi-State sector to deal with their declining finances.

On Thursday 13,000 lower-paid civil servants who are members of the Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU) will hold a one-day stoppage against the Government’s new pension levy.

This move will affect services across a range of Government departments, as well as social welfare and passport offices.

At the weekend staff at Dublin Bus will begin what could be an opened-ended strike at cutbacks planned by the company.

On Saturday, one union at Dublin Bus, the NBRU, will stage a one-day strike. On Sunday, the other main union at the company, Siptu, will begin a continuous all-out strike.

The moves are in protest at cutback plans drawn up by the company which would involve about 290 job losses, including those of 160 drivers.

The company is also to reduce its fleet by 120 buses.

About 450,000 people could be affected by the bus drivers’ dispute.

Separately, tens of thousands of other public service staff are currently balloting for industrial action.

This includes members of the three teaching unions, INTO, ASTI and TUI, as well as 10,000 members of the PSEU, which represents mid-ranking civil servants.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association is also carrying out a ballot of members on industrial action.

Tomorrow the executive of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) is expected to consider whether constituent unions should ballot members in both the public and private sectors on industrial action in support of what it says would be a fairer way to deal with the economic crisis.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA), which represents all rank-and-file members of the force, is organising a march against the pension levy for its members in Dublin city centre on Wednesday.

The march begins at 1.30pm at Parnell Square, and will make its way to Leinster House.

The GRA is expecting a turnout of over 1,000, and has encouraged gardaí to bring their families.