Monday, 7 February 2011

People's Congress builds solidarity between Communities and Unions

A wide ranging SIPTU delegation including many community workers from across the north attended the 'People's Congress' in Belfast's Kings Hall on Saturday 7th February, using the event to network and build allies.

The event was organised by ICTU with the aim of bringing together Trade Unions and Communities to organise effectively against Tory imposed cutbacks.

The hundreds of trade unionists and community activists listened to addresses on a number of topics including 'Myths used to Justify Cuts', 'Towards an Economy which serves society', 'Big Society, Small Future' and 'Rights in a Time of Recession.'

Among those who spoke were Economist Dr Andrew Baker from Queen's University, Belfast, Paul Nowak who is head of Organisation and Services for TUC.

(Some of the SIPTU members who attended the People's Congress. L-R, Barry McColgan, Teri Cregan, Peter Bunting, Anne Speed, Niall McNally and Martin O'Rourke)

Speaking on the 'People's Congress' SIPTU's Lead Organiser Martin O'Rourke said,

"SIPTU are engaged in a vital campaign of working with the community and voluntary sector across the north to organise against Tory imposed cuts. We were heartened by the awareness and eagerness of the Community workers to get organised in Unions to protect their communities from the worst excesses of an ideologically driven Tory agenda. The People's Congress was a perfect opportunity to build networks and engage with more Trade Unions and Community groups to assist in this essential campaign."

"The Congress laid out solid arguments against cuts in lay man's terms and pointed to models of best practice, providing a lot of robust and innovative ideas from the floor. SIPTU will continue to work with everyone to build the broadest possible campaign against Tory imposed cuts, and we added many useful contacts and allies at the People's Congress. We look forward to working with all community workers to ensure that we protect our society."
(Peter Bunting addresses the People's Congress)

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