A delegation from The Workers Party is to meet with leaders of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in Belfast tomorrow (Tuesday 5th October) to discuss the impact of the forthcoming Public Spending Review and the campaign spearheaded by the unions in opposition to measures which will impact on the most vulnerable in society and pose the threat of thousands of job losses in Northern Ireland.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Workers Party general Secretary John Lowry said: "the ICTU are to be congratulated for the strong stance they have taken against so called austerity measures which are unnecessary and will cause severe hardship to working people and their families throughout Northern Ireland. Almost alone, the Unions have questioned the prevailing wisdom that cuts are necessary and unavoidable. This is simply not true and economic research and alternative plans produced by several unions indicate that there is another way to tackle the crisis created by irresponsible banking and for which the poorest in society are being asked to pay. Increases in VAT, cuts to social welfare benefits, rent increases, pay freezes and pay cuts, changes to workers pensions and ultimately job losses is not the way to go. Taking money out of the economy does not work and will lead to further recession. There are those in society, particularly large corporations who can afford to pay more. Indeed many don't pay at all".
"We want to show our support today for the trade union campaign of opposition to the cuts and in particular for the rally organised by the ICTU for Belfast on October 23rd which will be an opportunity for all citizens to demonstrate their opposition to the Tory plans. Also, we will discuss with the ICTU the importance of Workers Unity and to guard against attempts to divide public and private sector workers both of whom will be badly hit if these plans go ahead. In addition it is imperative to keep a watching eye on how the local administration at Stormont reacts to these plans and to see just how far they, the parties at Stormont are prepared to go to protect the interests of workers in Northern Ireland".
Issued: 4th October 2010