Ireland: TEEU backs civil unrest campaign

TEEU general secretary Eamon Devoy says country is on the brink of significant civil unrest.

IRISH TIMES REPORTERS

One of the country’s largest trade unions has passed a motion calling for a campaign of civil disobedience if the Government does not hold a general election.

An overwhelming majority of the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) voted in favour of the motion at the union’s biennial conference in Galway today.

The emergency motion, which was put forward by the union’s executive, “condemns the Government for its criminal negligence in the management of the economy and for colluding with the banks in misleading the Irish people as to the seriousness of the crisis we face”.

It says that “this policy of economic sabotage has led to the betrayal of our country and to the loss of the last shreds of our economic sovereignty.

We now call on the Government to resign, hold a general election and face the verdict of the electorate.

If the Government persists in clinging to power we call on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and other civil society organisations to launch a campaign of civil disobedience to force an election on a regime that has no principles and no objective beyond staying in office for as long as possible”.

ICTU general secretary David Begg said the banks were “lying through their teeth to Nama about the value of their loan books”.

In an address to the conference, Mr Begg said the Government guarantee to the banking bond holders was “a terrible mistake” and the trade union movement would not “acquiesce in the ruination of our society”.

He said ICTU was calling for a mass mobilisation on November 27th next to end deflationary policies that will cost 90,000 jobs and cause “ruination of our society”.

The general secretary of the TEEU, Eamon Devoy, said the country was “on the brink of significant civil unrest in this country, the like of which has not been witnessed in this jurisdiction for decades”.

He strongly criticised the Government’s plan to take €6 billion out of the economy in the next budget.

When the draconian measures being proposed are heaped on top of the €14.5 billion cuts already implemented in the last three brutal budgets, life in Ireland will be unbearable.”

Mr Devoy told union members that in the next election, they should “vote for candidates who address the needs of working people”.

Separately, it is understood the European trade union organisation Etuc has urged that the IMF/European Commission/ European Central Bank team in talks on the proposed rescue package for the State should meet the social partners.

The request was made by the general secretary of Etuc John Monks in a letter sent yesterday to the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn.

Yesterday Shay Cody, general secretary of Impact, the largest public service union in Ireland, also urged that such a meeting should take place.



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