Statement by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions May Day 2011*
Irish Left Review
May 4th, 2011
We send greetings to workers in all lands on this May Day. We have so much in common. The economic crisis reaching across the globe has touched us all. Amidst all the wealth created by the labour of working people, who were not responsible for the global crisis, we are now expected to protect and bail out the wealthy few.
The free market demands that the bankers and the financial institutions get their pound of flesh in the form of guaranteed interest rates and loan repayments. This at the expense of the wages, pensions and working conditions of working people, at the expense of unemployed benefits and other social welfare payments. With two further hair shirt budgets endorsed by the present and previous governments more cut-backs are inevitable.
Ireland in common with Greece and Portugal has now lost the sovereign right to make decisions on their own future, a role now taken by the IMF/EU/ECB. Can we default on the debt? Well by all accounts we can never repay it. So it must be restructured at the expense of the European bankers and financial institutions. The government must be forced to travel this road. Borrowed money must be used for job creation with state sector companies allocated a central role, not privatised.
Our slogan for May Day is resist AUSTERITY. The trade union movement must lead this resistance at all levels, at union meetings, in workshop actions, in street protests. There is a propaganda war to be fought and won. The majority of economic commentators in all branches of the media are telling people that there is no alternative. Resistance is futile. The majority of politicians echo this viewpoint.
We must prove them wrong. If people can change governments they can change policies Governments cannot rule without the consent of the people. The trade unions have the power to make this happen.
LONG LIVE MAY DAY.