Socialist Worker 393


Car insurance has shot up. House prices are beyond many people‘s reach.  Rents are due to rise by another 25% in the next two years. Yet this government tells workers that they must not ask for a decent pay rise.

TDs will be awarded an extra €5,400 a year – but ordinary workers are told not to accept tiny increases that will be wiped out by price hikes.

Worse, this government is telling new entrants who join the public sector that they must take less pay than those who were recruited before 2011. It is a blatant case of discrimination.

The ASTI union is leading the fight to change this.

They voted to take strike action to achieve a simple demand that every worker should support – equal pay for equal work. They do not want to work for free any longer. During the economic crash, public sector workers were pressurised into working longer hours for no extra pay.  The government used this to impose a recruitment ban and get rid of 35,000 jobs in the public sector.

But the financial emergency is over. Fine Gael politicians never stop talking about ‘keep the recovery’ going.  Yet when it comes to workers, they say there should be no recovery in pay.

ASTI members are fighting for us all. They are following the lead of the LUAS workers the busworkers is standing up for their rights. They are showing that real trade unionism is coming back and that it is payback time for workers.

The media will spread terrible propaganda against teachers, guards and anyone else who dares fight back.

The government is also using emergency legislation to punish ASTI members by depriving them of incremental pay and denying young teachers who are on contract for more than two years a permanent job or ‘a contract of indefinite duration’.

The use of the law to intimidate trade unionists is totally unacceptable.

Other trade unionists should not stand aside and let this continue. The days when the leaders of the INTO and TUI, and beyond them SIPTU and IMPACT, act as collaborators with a  right wing government should end.

This is why People Before Profit has called on every trade unionist to

1. Support the ASTI pickets. If you are a TUI member, do not cross the pickets on your colleagues.

2. Call emergency conferences in other unions to bring forward the fight for equal pay for equal work.

3. Not wait until after 2018 to restore pay cuts. Strike back now.

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