Independent Candidate Condemns Use of “Forced Labour”, Supports Student Nurses.

6 Feb

Mary Fitzgibbon

Mary Fitzgibbon (Independent Candidate for Kerry North and Limerick West) has condemned the use of unpaid workers in the public service as a disgraceful development that is tantamount to “forced labour”.

“Fianna Fail has introduced a new level of exploitation into the workforce by forcing prospective public servants to work for free in order to obtain experience and training,” said Mary.

“We are seeing this for student nurses who are having their stipends reduced to zero and we’re seeing it in the forcing of unemployed teachers to work for nothing. We are even seeing it in the deployment of the unpaid Garda Reserves to run major policing operations, like crowd control at football matches.”

“These raw recruits are being coerced into replacing for free the thousands of experienced frontline workers hemorrhaging from the system.  The inevitable result is a dramatically worsening public service and a system rushing towards chaos.”

Non-replacement of Experienced Frontline Staff

The recruitment embargo and early retirement have had a crippling effect on the public service with a loss of 14,000 jobs so far – and a further 11,000 planned. These include the reduction in the number of members of An Garda Síochana to 13,000 by the end of 2014.

Fine Gael are even more eager to pursue this slash-and-burn policy on services, penciling in a reduction of 30,000, with Leo Varadkar touting over 40,000. This despite the fact that the Irish public service is relatively small by European standards.

The cost for the Region

“The failed policies of the out-going government were supported, defended and voted for by Deputy Tom McEllistrim, and are now costing the region an estimated €25 million a year. This is evident everywhere, with empty commercial premises, closing businesses and savage levels off unemployment.”

“These policies are fully supported by Fine Gael and will be expanded should Fine Gael ever reach power. Deputy Jimmy Deenihan can say what he likes, but when was the last time that anything he said had any effect on his party’s national policy?”

“It is also hypocritical for those who call endlessly for job-creation to destroy the only jobs over which they have any control. And it is disastrous for this constituency, where decades of under-investment have left few sizable private sector employers. ”

“I, along with the majority of voters, will be standing with the Kerry General Hospital student nurses next Wednesday when they protest against this scandalous attempt to further attack frontline workers who work in near-impossible conditions as it is.”




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