Irish public sector workers begin work-to-rule

More than 300,000 public sector workers in the Republic of Ireland are to begin a national work-to-rule in protest at pay cuts introduced in the budget.

Civil servants, teachers and nurses are among those who will join the campaign of non co-operation.

The Irish government has said it needs to find 3bn euro in savings next year to deal with the Irish economic crisis.

However, Jimmy Kelly, from the trade union, Unite, said the wage cuts were not acceptable.

“This is an economic crisis not created by public sector workers – cutting public sector pay only adds to the downward spiral in the economy,” he said.

“The government saying that public sector workers have to pay for the crisis are just going down one route which is just going to fail.”

Government sources said the work-to-rule would not achieve anything and that the door remained open for realistic engagement.

Some are already dubbing the action the national go-slow – a strict work-to-rule across the public service.

Irish trade unions have not ruled out escalating the action, although it is unclear whether employees under financial pressure would be prepared to take all out strike action.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, said the LRC would intervene to try to resolve this dispute.

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