Union call for civil disobedience criticised


SEANAD REPORT:SOME FINE Gael members have expressed concerns about proposed trade union actions against the four-year plan to address the nation’s economic ills.

Paul Bradford said there must not be a descent into chaos based on a belief that a campaign of civil disobedience would somehow help to reverse our economic plight. He hoped that those advocating such a campaign would reflect on the negative connotations of that “type of worn-out, clap-trap ideology” which, if pursued exclusively, was insulting of democracy.

A planned street protest was, from an economic and social perspective, the last thing we should even be talking about.

Paschal Donohoe called on the Technical Engineering and Electrical Trades Union to withdraw, or to at least clarify, its call for a campaign of civil disobedience against the plan. Encouraging such a campaign sent out a very dark and worrying signal, he believed.

The two main Opposition parties were committed to implementing, in government, elements of the plan and to finding a way to deliver its objectives.

Did the union intend to continue its campaign irrespective of the outcome of the forthcoming general election?

Jim Walsh (FF) observed the chalice was about to be passed to the Opposition. A new coalition could not offer a cohesive response to addressing the difficulties we faced. The sooner the better people realised that.

Meanwhile, Dan Boyle (Green), deputy Seanad leader clashed with Alex White (Lab) over what approach should be taken to reduce the budget deficit to 3 per cent by 2014.

Failure to front-load the burden in the first year would further undermine confidence in our economy, Mr Boyle argued.