July 2011        

Saving the assets of the Irish people
ICTU supports a campaign on the illegitimate debt

The following emergency motion was passed by the biennial delegate conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in July. It was proposed by the TEEU and supported by the CWU, ESBOA, Impact, SIPTU, UCATT, and Unite.

Following the EU-IMF raid on the National Pension Reserve Fund to bail out the German and French bondholders, the latest threat to the assets of the Irish people emerges from the McCarthy Report.
     In a paper reflecting the neo-liberal ethos of the IMF and increasingly of the EU, privatisation of national resources as diverse as our forests and greyhound tracks is advocated. Recently, the most serious suggestions involve the sale of important infrastructural companies such as the ESB, our national airports and Bord Gáis while the alternatives set out in reports such as the Cahill Report on Electricity Transmission Ownership are swept away.
     These companies are in the main, profitable and provide good quality employment for many Irish people. More importantly, they are valuable national assets built up through the hard work and dedication of generations of Irish workers.
     We call on this conference to pledge the ICTU to co-ordinate a structured resistance against the sale of any of these vital national assets.
     Such resistance should typically take the form of concerted political lobbying; consideration of selective action in threatened entities; mobilising community support for subsequent demonstrations; targeting local politicians; petition gathering etc. culminating in a “national referendum” on the sale of the people’s assets to be held simultaneously at all union offices throughout the country, the result to be presented to government demanding appropriate action.

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