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category national | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Wednesday October 21, 2009 19:42author by Paul Kinsella - Variousauthor email paulbkinsella at gmail dot comauthor address 53 Lorcan Grove, Santry, Dublin 9, phone 00353-85-1478100 Report this post to the editors

Letter from David Begg, ICTU General Secretary

To launch the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) 'GET UP STAND UP' Campaign, which includes the 'National Day Of Action' on Friday, November 6th, which will involve mass rallies in 8 locations around the country in protest at the Government's economic strategies. Full text of letter is below.

"Date Released: 21 Oct 2009

October 2009

Dear Friend

This is not a letter to remind you how bad things are in this country. You hear that news every day and may already have been affected.

This is about how we can get through the crisis without forcing low and middle income families to bear all the burden. It is about how we can emerge in better shape on the other side and make sure the same mistakes are not repeated.

We believe there is still a better, fairer way to deal with our problems.

The priorities of Government are wrong and will not change unless you get up, stand up and demand that they do what is best for people.

Over recent years, their policies have made speculators, developers and bankers very, very wealthy. They did this at the expense of our kids’ schools, our hospital services, peoples’ pensions and our homes. And now they have sent us a bill of E54 billion to pay for reckless and maybe criminal behaviour in our banks.

But there is worse to come:

The Government now intends to cut incomes, cut vital services and has absolutely no plans to tackle the Jobs’ Crisis. Congress has put forward proposals to save and create jobs, to protect peoples’ incomes and make sure they have the services they need:

If we extend recovery over a longer timeframe we can ensure important services and supports are maintained.

We must reform our tax system to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share.

Many EU countries have successful schemes that keep people in work, there is no reason why they cannot be introduced here.

But none of this will happen unless we get up, stand up and show we want to build a better, fairer
society. I am urging you to:

•Join the protest rally taking place on Friday, November 6 at 2.30pm at Parnell Square, Dublin
•Make your voice heard by signing up online at
•Show you support change by wearing or displaying the enclosed stickers
In five years time will you say, ‘I allowed this to happen’ or will you do something about it?

Yours sincerely,
David Begg
General Secretary

Our Five Key Demands of Government are:

1.Tackle the Jobs’ Crisis
2.Stop cuts to peoples’ incomes
3.Protect vital services
4.Safeguard peoples’ homes
5.Make the wealthy pay their fair share"

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author by Marcas MacCaoimhinpublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The timing of the November 6th Demo is terrible. With it being held on a working day where a strike has not been declared the numbers will be low and the media will have a field day reporting on such a damp squib.

author by Gearóid Ó Loingsighpublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 16:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The date of the demo is not the main problem. The main problem is that what ICTU are asking is that low and middle income families not bear ALL the burden. They will be quite happy to have the workers who did not cause the crisis bear a major chunk of it!!! This is what they have been doing since Social Partnership began.

Get Up! Stand Up! The ICTU bureaucracy has been crawling for so long they wouldn't know what fighting is. We have been here before, the Irish Ferries dispute when the Grand Old Duke Of York, well this time he didn't even get half way up the hill. despite the massive shows of solidarity ICTU demobilised the whole thing.

author by niall higgins - tax payerpublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i will be attending said rally in galway in nov., and glad to,but i think getting there and standing up is all we will achieve.Somehow though i feel stronger actions are now required collectively.Anyone effected by these further pay cuts and who have a mortgage should reduce this amount from their mortgage payment.I will be taking this action. I am angered by our governments treatment of us but this is also our banks problem.Money is most certainly a powerful weapon...lets use it to our advantage.This may not be the proper medium to express my thoughts but its a start.Lets really get a reaction!

author by Martin Kellypublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 20:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As an ex shop steward and a citizen, I think that ICTU should be frontloading NAMA as the big time criminal, which will represent the biggset transfer of wealth from our society to a small clique of mega greedy bankers and big developers.

The empty premises and sites which litter our cities and countryside will in the main, be cited beningly by the banks as "impaired" loans on their books.

These toxic debts to be taken from the banks and given to the state, will poision our communities through thousands of millions of euro foregone in services and general welfare. This cash will have to be paid back with interest at variable rate; ie upwards in reality.

Moreover it will be paid back by a community which pays the highest indirect tax (VAT) and theses taxes impact heavily on those who can least afford them, other indirect taxes, eg domestic water rates are already in the pipeline and these will also go into bailing out the banks and big developers.

To not frontload this NAMA issue while marching and striking against "the cuts" seems like condeming a massive crime, but staying quiet about who were and are the biggest perpetrators of the same crime and to compound such injustice, we will also stay quiet while our services and living standards are hollowed out to pay back loans for bailing out the said perpetrators.

ICTU leadership do 'get up and stand up' and give proper leadership on this NAMA debacle before it is too late and the dye will be cast by those in Government who are bereft of morality or common sense.

author by Martin Kellypublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 21:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

BTW I am cognisant of the fact that ICTU leaders have in the main, been hauled kicking and screaming to take this action by the rank and file activists and members, but they should be made take up a loud anti Nama position otherwise a lot of these efforts will be for the most part wasted.

The issue of our natural resources giveaway is the other big crime and the other big elephant in the room while TDs get passionate and heated about booze levels.

Wonderful distractions, reminds me of Connolly's remark about ruling by fooling.

author by .publication date Fri Oct 23, 2009 18:39author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors


Photo essays etc on workers issues etc@

Doing it Jack's way.  © Michael Gallagher 2009
Doing it Jack's way. © Michael Gallagher 2009

author by Paul Kinsella - Variouspublication date Sun Oct 25, 2009 17:32author email paulbkinsella at gmail dot comauthor address 53 Lorcan Grove, Santry, Dublin 9, phone 00353-85-1478100Report this post to the editors

I agree with the various comments above. While I have no problem publishing ICTU's campaign, and supporting it, and being on all the various protests, including the National Day Of Action on November 6th, which I will be participating in, and organising for, plus the 24/7 Alliance March to Dáil Eireann on November 11th, and the proposed Public Sector Strike in late November, even though I am a Private Sector Worker, I have no illusions, that this is what ICTU really wanted. They're only doing this because they've been forced to by the huge anger from ordinary Workers in Both the Public And Private Sectors. Let's all concentrate firstly on getting a massive turnout on November 6th, so massive that they (ICTU, the Government and the bosses) can't ignore us. I'm pleased to say that the signs are looking very good for the 6th. Many workplaces I know in Both the Public And Private Sectors are walking out, either for the day, or at lthe very least for a 1/2 day. I have a feeling that the 6th Protest will be on a scale unprecedented in recent Irish history, surpassed only possibly by the PAYE Tax Protest of March 1979. Then let's build for the 24/7 Alliance March to Dail Eireann on November 11th, and the proposed Public Sector Strike in late November.

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author by Paul Kinsella - Variouspublication date Tue Oct 27, 2009 03:05author email paulbkinsella at gmail dot comauthor address 53 Lorcan Grove, Santry, Dublin 9, phone 00353-85-1478100Report this post to the editors

I am a Private Sector Worker, but I And Many Others will be standing shoulder to shoulder with our Public Sector Colleagues on November 6th, and in whatever happens after that, because we've had enough of being ground into the ground by bast**ds like you'se.

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author by Hugh Murphy - Sacked by ITGWU and Belfast employerspublication date Tue Oct 27, 2009 18:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The workers of Ireland have, TO SAY THE LEAST, employer friendly trade unions. The rank and file must push aside the so-called leaders and demand fair play for workers, NOT EMPLOYERS. If they don't their grandchildren will still be paying for their cowardice in 60 years time. NAMA, is and should be termed what it is, i.e, MANA - for the rich. Anyone in doubt about the inequalities in Irish society should read Fintan O'Toole's column in today's Irish Times. YES, O'Toole is a Union yes man but he can get at the facts. It's a pity O'Connor O'Toole and the other jokes on ICTU would not act on the information he can dig up.

When the Trade Unions honour the great men of Irish Labour, stop paying themselves like employers and get back to representing their members instead of trying to run the country in an unelected capacity - we will have work for everyone. Just as Larkin and Connolly intended.

author by William "Lockout" Murphypublication date Tue Apr 06, 2010 20:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Get Up Stand Up Campaign has been superseded by the Shut Up Sit Down Campaign!

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