Friday, 27 May 2011

May Day March success in sunny Belfast and Derry

Hundreds of SIPTU members joined thousands of marchers to celebrate May Day in Belfast and Derry.  In his address, SIPTU General President Jack O’Connor said the trade union movement had warned that the austerity programme would not work and would only deepen the economic crisis. He predicted the EU/ECR/IMF package and the effort to save the banks would threaten the long term survival of the economy.

(SIPTU lead the Belfast May Day March 2011)

Pat McCauley a SIPTU community worker and activist from Belfast commenting at the march said,

”It was great to see this cross community event attended by working people from across Belfast. Throughout the worst aspects of the conflict the trade union movement was one of the main forces that continued to work towards improving working people’s lives.  We were also aware that when we required public services the trade union movement would best ensure they were available.  That is why I am proud to march with my SIPTU colleagues today.”

Barry McColgan a SIPTU Community Activist who travelled from Omagh to attend the May Day celebrations in Belfast added,

“I attended today to join with others who believe the trade union movement is vital to the shaping of a fairer society with justice for all”.

Also in Belfast there were a range of activities to mark May Day including an evening of culture through music, verse and words.  The writer Francis Devine from The Irish Labour History Society recalled the lives and contributions of Jim Larkin, James Connolly, Winnie Carney and other labour activists and explored their legacy in relation to current economic and societal realities.  A specially cast limited edition badge to commemorate 100 years of Connolly’s arrival in Belfast was also launched.

The SIPTU banner and flags also flew proudly during the Derry Trade Union Council Mayday march through the town. 

Martin O’Rourke Lead organiser with SIPTU stated,

“We were proud and honoured today to walk in the footsteps of thousands of activists who over the last hundred years have worked tirelessly to improve terms and conditions for working people”.

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