The following statement is circulating and was planned to go out from some shop stewards and union reps. I have not seen it surface in the media yet. I signed it  though I have a reservation on at least one secondary point. I don’t fully agree with the tactic of stopping contributions to union political funds because it might give an excuse to those who would like to prohibit political issues from union business.



The leaders of the ICTU are presenting the demonstration on February 9th as being solely directed at the EU and the ECB. Some have gone out of their way to say it is not directed at the Fine Gael-Labour government.

We, the undersigned, however will be marching to demand BOTH the lifting of debt burden and an end to the austerity policies of the Irish government.

We believe that the union leaders should be:

· Proclaiming their opposition to the property taxes which will take €500 million out of, the pockets of low and middle income earners mainly.

· Opposing the cutbacks in public spending that have led to the loss of 30,000 jobs and reduced services.

· Organising against attempts to reduce public service pensions, allowances or conditions of work.

We believe that the reason why so many union leaders have been reluctant to fight the government with any real determination is that they are members of the Labour Party.

We call for an end to all union funding of Labour Party and urge members of relevant unions to notify their head offices of their desire to cease making a contribution from their dues to this party.

Finally, we believe that it is time to return to proper, real unions that stand up for their members.

We call for a withdrawal from the current round of talk designed to worsen the already draconian terms of the Croke park agreement.