The deepening crisis in the Irish Republic is manifest in the news that thousands of workers in the Republic are set to ballot for a national one-day strike in protest at employers — including the Irish government — which have refused to pay the national wage agreement.
The strike on March 30 could bring the entire public sector in the south to a halt and would also affect private sector employers who can afford to, but have refused, to pay the wage agreement. Unions announced yesterday that balloting will begin on Monday unless the government |returns to negotiations on a three-year agreement. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) said the agreement would be based on its 10-point plan for economic recovery and include a reworking of the national pay deal and public sector pension levy. The unions’ umbrella body demanded commitments on its proposals, including measures to protect mortgage holders and the creation of a third tax band of 48% for the higher paid. Without agreement, ICTU general secretary David Begg warned that balloting on the national work stoppage will begin and predicted “a Doomsday situation”.
The clock is ticking- what will the Irish Government do? It seems to me that a huge confrontation is coming the way of the Brian Cownen-led government and it increasingly is running out of ideas.