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250,000 Irish workers strike

Posted by smeddum on November 24, 2009

250,000 Irish workers strike

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Morning Star

Unions have caused massive disruption across Ireland as public services shut down in a national strike over pay cuts.

More than 250,000 public workers joined the walkout – thought to be the biggest in 30 years.

Hospitals, schools, social welfare offices and local authorities closed during the one-day action over plans to slash £1.18 billion from the public-sector wage bill.

Hospital appointments for around 16,000 people had to be cancelled.

The stoppage came in advance of the budget of the Fianna Fail/Green Party coalition on December 9, when further cuts in public spending are expected.

Workers said that they could not put up with further cuts after an emergency budget this year.

And off-duty members of the Irish police force the Garda Siochana, which cannot take strike action by law, manned picket lines in solidarity with other public-sector workers.

General secretary of the 11,000-strong police federation the Garda Representative Association PJ Stone said that there were 2,400 civilian, part-time “unsworn” support officers, who would be taking strike action.

“Those people are entitled to take part in this strike and our advice to our members is that if they are off-duty to come along and stand in solidarity with them because their difficulties are our difficulties.

“We need to show other workers that we stand with them and share their anger about the way this government is treating the public services.”

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