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Workers must show solidarity in the face of cuts

We wish to record our complete opposition to the massive cuts being implemented and planned from Westminster and Stormont.

To mark this opposition we urge people to join a protest in Belfast from 5-6pm on Thursday, June 24, outside the European Commission offices, Dublin Road, Belfast, to coincide with a European-wide week of protest and solidarity. Across Europe, workers' living standards are under attack. But cuts are not inevitable. From Greece to Spain and Portugal, workers are fighting back.

Locally, workers are confronted with a tsunami of cuts. Since the current Executive was formed, cuts or 'efficiency savings', as our MLAs prefer to call them, have been implemented every year across all departments. These cuts have already led to job losses and a severe increase in workload for workers providing vital services.

The latest round announced by the Executive has led to the closure of A&E services at Mid-Ulster and Whiteabbey hospitals.

Up to £35bn could be cut over the coming five years across the UK. The impact of these cuts will be devastating for working-class communities.

The blame for the budget deficit does not lie with public sector workers and working-class people. The fault is to be found in the boardrooms of the financial institutions and with speculators.

JIM BARBOUR (Fire Brigades Union), FRANK BUNTING (INTO)

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