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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.

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6 thoughts on “IRISH DOOMSDAY?

  1. A one-day strike means the union leaders understand the need for the cuts but they want to allow their members to let off some steam.

    The public sector in Ireland has done very well under the social partnership model. But the money used was flooding into the state coffers during the property boom.

    That source of easy money is gone for good. The cutbacks are only starting.

  2. There is a lot of frustration out there with the public sector at the moment.

    At the end of the day, with their pay cut, they may struggle to survive, they may struggle to pay their mortgage, but they survive…

    They do not seem to grasp that they are not (yet anyway) being made redundant. They will have their jobs at the end of the day.

    Whereas the private sector employee is facing job cuts and those not getting let go are taking from 10% to 20% pay cuts with the threat of job loss hanging over their heads.

    It was bad form of them to march last week. It is bad form for the bus drivers to strike on sat, especially with the game, and its equally bad for to strike on the 30th.

    The game is up. Everyone needs to play their part.

    To be honest, I believe the government has not made the necessary hard choices with regards to the public sector. We cannot afford the public sector pay bill. Its as plain and simple as that. Either its cut and managed, or the plug will be pulled.

    The unions are loving this, as people are flocking to them apparently. I havent yet heard though of a union forgoing contributions or offering a cut in them

  3. Sheer madness, CPI deflating at 2% per month, and these idiots want a 6% pay rise!

    I highlighted this factoid about ITCU president David Begg on Slugger yesterday.

    Also, did you know, our champagne socialist hero David Begg, President of the ICTU is on the board of the Irish Central Bank. I kid you not, the valiant defender of well paid civil servants at the expense of the soon-to-be-unemployed-private-sector worker sat on the board of an institution that bears a heavy responsibility for the bubble that brought us to our knees.



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