Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

TDs press for day of general strike

The public have been urged to take to the streets of Dublin on Saturday for a pre-budget demonstration
The public have been urged to take to the streets of Dublin on Saturday for a pre-budget demonstration

Trade union bosses have been called upon to stage a 24-hour general strike against austerity.

The United Left Alliance (ULA) said the Irish Congress of Trades Unions (ICTU) should organise a national stoppage next March to coincide with the next payment of promissory notes for the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Criticising Ireland's failure to join six countries across Europe in a general strike against cuts earlier this month, TDs urged the public to take to the streets of Dublin this Saturday for a pre-budget demonstration.

The ULA's Clare Daly said: "The protest on Saturday is a magnificent start but we have to go much further if we are to stop this Government's cuts, one protest is not enough.

"The Irish unions have been too silent in resisting Government cuts.

"The close links between the tops of the unions and the Labour Party have held back the resistance for too long. I'm calling on ICTU to back the call for a national stoppage on the day of the Anglo promissory note payment."

Joan Collins TD warned there was a mood of resistance against cuts to the most vulnerable in society, including the old, the sick and those on social welfare, with thousands joining protests in recent weeks.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said within weeks Ireland would be hit with its sixth austerity budget since the onset of the crisis.

"With each successive budget, social suffering has increased, while the economy has deteriorated," he said. "The government's strategy is hurting without working.

"We need to cancel the odious bank debt and instead invest in a sustainable future, that's why we're calling on everyone to join the protest this Saturday."

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