Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Strabane Trades Council Rally against Community Cuts

SIPTU supported the Strabane Trades Council in a rally against cuts to the public and community sector.
The rally was held at 2pm on Saturday 11th December in the town’s Castle Street, catching the attention of hundreds of busy Christmas shoppers.
Ryan McNulty of the local Trades Council chaired the proceeding, with the main speakers on the day being Michael Craig of the Unemployed Union, Brian Campfield of NIPSA and Kenny McAdams of Derry Trades Council.

(Michael Craig (Unemployed Union), Martin O'Rourke (SIPTU), Paul Gallagher (Strabane Trades Council), Brian Campfield (NIPSA), Ryan McNulty (Strabane Trades Council) Kenny McAdams (Derry Trades Council)

Speaking on the rally, SIPTU Lead Organiser Martin O’Rourke said,
“It was heartening to see representatives of Strabane, Derry and Letterkenny Trades Councils coming together to stand up for the most vulnerable in our society and those who provide services to them. This is a crucial time for everyone to make a stand against cuts to frontline services, whether that be in the public or community sector. SIPTU insisted that a strong community message was heard today, ensuring that we are also organised against any proposed cuts to our community services.”
“In the time ahead, SIPTU as ‘The Union for Community Workers’, will be campaigning to ensure that the frontline services in our local areas, the very lifeblood of our communities are protected from the savage slash and burn cuts being proposed by the Millionaire Tory Cabinet. We will be work with every stakeholder, to safeguard the very future of our communities, and we call on everyone’s support in this important task.”

Don’t be a Fashion Victim this Christmas!

Poverty wages, lack of rights and poor working conditions are still the norm for millions of garments workers across the world, depriving them of their internationally recognised human rights. The way the fashion industry is managed can be changed to have a more positive impact on the lives of workers in supplier countries.

Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland is the newest branch of the Clean Clothes Campaign, an alliance of organisations in 15 European countries dedicated to improving working conditions and supporting empowerment of workers in the global garment and sportswear industries.
Please circulate this e-mail to all your colleagues, friends and contacts and ask them to join the Clean Clothes Campaign this Christmas.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

SIPTU Support Student Demo in Belfast

SIPTU activists mobilised at Belfast City Hall today (Thursday 9th December) joining with over 1000 students from across the city protesting against education cuts and the ending of EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) for Secondary School Students.

The Student Demo lasted for over an hour at lunch time, with College students and Secondary School Students alike thronging the street to make a stand against ‘regressive and ultimately cruel cuts.’

SIPTU Organiser Niall McNally who was at the student demonstration said,

“It is an absolute disgrace that the Tory government are savagely attacking those most in need, including the students here today. SIPTU believe in a knowledge economy, we believe that our young people should be encouraged and facilitated in getting an education at every level. The savage cuts to education, whether that be withdrawing the EMA or implementing tuition fees in excess of £9000 creates a two tier education system, prohibiting many from working class backgrounds from seeking higher education.”

“The consensus for cuts continues to tell us that there is no alternative that these cuts need to be made, that is nothing but rubbish. There is an alternative, the Trade Unions have spelt out that alternative, if the Tory government spent less time bailing out the very instigators in this financial crisis, the Bankers, and a bit more time chasing those big tax dodging companies that can well afford to pay a fair cut, then we wouldn’t need all these regressive and ultimately cruel cuts.”

“We applaud the students today and we in SIPTU would like to see enhanced co-operation between students, and trade unions in working together against the cuts.”

SIPTU lambast Boots over Tax Dodging

SIPTU organiser Teri Cregan has criticised Boots over their tax avoidance of £86 million annually.

The Trade Union official lambasted the company for their, ‘huge tax avoidance when the public and community sector are being hit by all manner of cuts.’

Boots, who recorded over £1bn profit last year, were able to avoid the payment, due to a tax loop hole.

SIPTU are organised in Boots across the north, and are campaigning for dignity and respect in the workplace, and for business to become more ethical in how they deal with their workers and society.

Teri Cregan said,

“This tax dodging by Boots is an absolute disgrace, we believe it is morally corrupt that a thriving company can so blatantly commit tax avoidance when the public and community sector are being hit by all manner of cuts. A company that achieved well over £1bn in profits last year can easily afford to pay their fair share when it comes to tax.”

“The £86million in annual tax avoidance is essential money that should rightfully be sought and utilised by the Tory Government, rather than implementing cuts and tax hikes that target the most vulnerable in society and which will adversely affect the excellent Boots workforce and their dedicated customers in their day to day lives.”

“Tax avoidance must be ended, and the cleverly conceived, self-serving loop holes need to be closed. SIPTU have constantly said there is an alternative to these cuts, one of which is to ensure that companies like Boots pay their fair share of tax like the rest of us.”

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

SIPTU Start to Organise Omagh Communities Against Cuts

Ireland's largest Trade Union SIPTU held a number of engagements with key Community activists in Omagh town today (Monday 6th December).

SIPTU Lead Organiser Martin O'Rourke led the meetings with the community organisers, to kick-start a process of engagement and building in the campaign against cuts to the community and voluntary sector.

Among those met were Cllr Martin McColgan (Chairperson of Strathroy Community Association), Michael Kelly (Omagh Community Support Officer) Siobhan McDermott (MACCA Community Centre Development Officer, ODC), Seamus Reid (MACCA Secretary), Gerry McCusker (Omagh Neighbourhood Renewal Officer), and Conor Keys (FOCUS Development Officer).

SIPTU's Martin O'Rourke said;

"The community organisers we met today have a wealth of experience and knowledge of all the hard work that is carried out in communities across Omagh. We in SIPTU want to ensure that these essential frontline services are protected. We have a strong presence in communities in the 26 Counties, and have led the campaign against cuts facing our community services.  We are looking to harness this experience and expertise to build a similar campaign in the north, organising and bringing communities together to campaign against cuts in light of the recent Tory budget proposing £4bn of cuts."

"Community Workers provide vital services to the disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society. But now your services and the people who provide them are under threat of cutbacks and closures. It’s time we as a community come together to have our voices heard. If we do, we can help shape a better and fairer future for all."

If you interested in joining the campaign contact or 028 9031 4000

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Strabane Rally against Cuts

The north of Ireland depends to a great extent on public spending. This is because of our high levels of deprivation and an under developed economy as a result of the conflict, plus we have a younger population with more young people in education.

Over the next four years the British Government intends to take more than £4Bn out of the economy here by slashing spending on important services which we all take for granted.

These cuts are unnecessary and they will have a damaging impact on us in a whole range of areas of life.

If we fail to act the numbers of unemployed will grow from the already unacceptable almost 58,000 citizens.

Education and Health services will be cut and the working poor and the people who rely on public services will be made contribute the most.

Strabane Area Trade Union Council and Community Groups have issued a call to join the struggle for a fairer society at a rally in Castle Street Strabane (outside Post Office) on December 11th.

Assemble at 1:00pm
Guest Speakers in attendance including
Peter Bunting (Assistant General Secretary of The Irish Congress of Trade Unions)
Make your Voice Heard - Oppose the Cuts

Speaking at a recent meeting of Trade Unionists and community activists Ryan McNulty of the Strabane Area Trade Union Council called upon all right thinking people to support the protest to protect the weak in our society.

Mr Mc Nulty added,

“People are being conditioned into accepting there is no alternative to the cuts when in fact there is. We cannot afford these cuts. They must be opposed by all who think that we deserve a future. It is time to speak out and join with civil society in support of a better and fairer way."