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Cork protest hits out at Minister for Slave Labour

category cork | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Saturday February 14, 2009 20:19author by John Jefferies - The Workers' Partyauthor email cork_wp at mail dot com Report this post to the editors

Workers Party protest at office of Billy Kelleher

The Workers' Party today held a protest at the constitutency office of Junior Minister Billy Kelleher who earlier this week strongly hinted at moves to cut the statutory Minimum Wage.
Workers' Party members picket Billy Kelleher's office in Cork
Workers' Party members picket Billy Kelleher's office in Cork

Members of the Workers’ Party today picketted the constituency office of the Minister of State for Labour Affairs Billy Kelleher at Dillon's Cross in Cork in protest at any move to cut the Minimum Wage which the Minister strongly hinted at in a speech earlier this week.

The Minimum wage currently stands at €8.65 and the statutory minimum was introduced because of the massive exploitation of workers, particularly those in catering and other services. Recent statistics show that there is still widespread non compliance with the Minimum Wage and a campaign against the Minimum Wage by ISME has been running for some time.

Local Workers’ Party spokesman Ted Tynan pointed out that even after the recent ministerial pay cut Minister Kelleher and other Junior Ministers were being paid in the region of €2,500 a week while senior ministers get around €4,000 and the Taoiseach picks up a salary of around €5,000 a week, not to mention travel allowances and all the other perks associated with the job.

“Minister Kelleher is advocating an attack on the lowest paid workers in this country to add to the attacks on pensioners and the vicious cuts in disability funding, funding for small local sports and recreational facilities and the general cuts for ordinary workers. All this is at a time when money is being shovelled into the banks. It is time to shout Enough is Enough and this is why we placed this picket on Minister Kelleher’s constituency office this morning.”, said Ted Tynan.

Around the same time a number of Cork City Council employees also picketted the Minister's office on the related issue of proposed public sector pensions levy, job losses and other public sector cutbacks.

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Cork City Council staff (left) also picketted the minister
Cork City Council staff (left) also picketted the minister

Picketting the Minister for Slave Labour
Picketting the Minister for Slave Labour

author by newsmedia - newsmedianewspublication date Sat Feb 14, 2009 22:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I sincerely appreciate your concerns expressed in this item but do you really think those running things give a flying squeak about a few people mounting a protest?

When I worked as a parliamentary correspondent years back, I recall seeing ministers sniggering and joking over similar events in the UK.

I draw attention to the following quote fro Jeff Luers which appeared in an IndyMedia news item a few days ago:
Fear is the enemy of freedom. We fail to act because we fear the cost of living free. We live in a police state. The U.S. may be the kinder face of fascism, but it is still a fascist state. Yes, we have elected a man who may bring change, but the system that he upholds will still be a capitalist, imperialist monster. If anyone thinks that he isn’t going to protect the corporate interests at the extent of the people, they are wrong. We live in one of the few countries in the world where corporations are granted and guaranteed the same rights under our constitution. By design, our government is structured to uphold that rule of law.

author by lulupublication date Sun Feb 15, 2009 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play protestors! You have to start somewhere, which usually means taking to the streets to get your message out.

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