The Kerry Public Service Workers’ Alliance is mounting a street protest against the government’s proposals contained in the new “Croke Park” and has launched a campaign for a resounding No vote from union members.
At a well-attended meeting in Tralee on Wednesday evening grassroots members from SIPTU, IMPACT, INTO, PNA, ASTI, UCAT, TUI, AGSI, TEEU and the GRA expressed outrage at:
- the government for breaking the Croke Park 1 agreement 16 months before it was due to expire.
- the scale of what is being demanded of public service workers in pay cuts and extra unpaid work.
- the manner in which many union officials are effectively functioning as the frontline of a government assault on their members.
The message was clear: it is time for ordinary union members to become active and to fight what many feel is the last stand for trade unions in the country.
There were positive stories of similar alliances springing up to fill the vacuum being left by paid officials and many suggestions as to how people can contribute. These included the sharing of information about the content of the proposals, lobbying of local TD’s and Councillors, an email campaign, and spreading the message about the devasting impact the cuts would have on the Kerry economy. People volunteered to spread the word of the fightback through all forms of media, social and otherwise.
Everyone was encouraged to discuss the proposals and their impact with their colleagues. It was noted that we must be sure to include both students, who will face years of penury should the proposals be accepted, and retired members, as their pensions are in the cross hairs.
The meeting resolved to make the general public, politicians and union leaders aware of the strength of feeling amongst public service workers by holding a demonstration at 5pm on Monday March 11th on Denny Street in Tralee. A free bus will run from Killarney for those who would like to attend from there. All are encouraged to attend – there may even be a special guest!