Michael Finnegan, Workers Party candidate in Dublin Mid-West, speaking to a meeting of election workers stated:
"The nurses strike is now in its 40th day and there is no sign of the Minister for Health, Ms Harney, coming to her senses.
"With her well paid advisers, Professor Drumm and Mulligan, she is seeking further confrontation with the nurses by threatening to withhold 13% from nurses' salaries.
"It is clear that the government through the Minister for Health and the HSE are now determined on a political struggle with the nurses unions. They are obviously seeking the destruction of the nurses' unions and with this objective as their primary aim they are not interested in any solution.
"To date nurses have made a number of proposals which would lead to settlement if the HSE and the Minister were really concerned to reach a settlement.
"One is reminded of Thatcher and her attitude to unions, when the sole aim was to smash the unions regardless of what the public dispute was about. The hypocritical statements of Mrs Harney and her well paid advisers that they are only concerned with the welfare of patients is an insult to the 40,000 nurses and millions of workers who recognise the value and commitment of all those engaged in the medical system.
"The only way in which this dispute can be brought to an end with the nurses receiving justice is through the actions of a united trade union movement. It is first necessary for the trade unions movement to recognise that nurses must have their support. With such support it is possible to reach an honourable solution outside of a flawed National Agreement. It is now essential that the unions demonstrate solidarity with the nurses and take independent action in support of the nurses and so force the employers to agree to the legitimate demands of the nurses.
"This government with its Thatcherite PD tail wagging the Fianna Fail dog has proved time and time again that its priorities are with the rich and powerful. We have been consistently told that the Celtic Tiger has brought untold wealth to this country. It is long past time that workers who have made the major contribution to this untold wealth were allowed a fair share of it".