The President of the Workers Party Michael Finnegan has said that the
Croke Park agreement is being voted on by workers in an atmosphere of government threats and blackmail designed to terrify them into acceptance.
Mr. Finnegan was a speaking in the wake of another warning to workers from the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, threatening dire consequences if the deal is rejected by public sector workers.
“The current debate among workers on this deal is being done in an atmosphere of vulgar duress and fear aimed at cowing workers into a Yes vote on a deal that the vast majority of those workers would reject in any normal debate. People are having to take decisions which will affect them and their families for the next decade in an absolutely appalling atmosphere where rational debate is impossible”, said Mr. Finnegan.
“The Workers’ Party is opposed to the Croke Park agreement however we recognise the immense pressure being put on workers by a combination of threats and the ongoing economic crisis which puts them in fear of their jobs and their children’s futures. We believe there is an onus on the trade union movement and the ICTU in particular to reflect the anger of workers and to work with progressive forces on the left in putting forward a clear alternative to the policies of cutbacks and wage plunder”.
Mr. Finnegan said that the Taoiseach’s comment today that the Croke Park agreement represented a “win-win” deal for public sector workers was an insulting nonsense. “The reality is that Mr. Cowen and his government have a “take-take” attitude towards both public and private sector workers who along with the poorest in society have borne all of the pain of an economic crisis in which they had neither hand, act nor part in creating”.
“The government has many buzzwords about people having to share the pain but the cutbacks and pay cuts have all impacted primarily on working people and the poor while those with wealth are cushioned against such moves and to whom, as we have seen this week, government strictures on pay restraint and pensions do not apply”
Issued Sunday, 25th April 2010