Gilmore comments on right to strike wrong

Finnegan responds to Gilmore's attack on public workers' right to strike

Michael Finnegan
Michael Finnegan

The President of the Workers’ Party Michael Finnegan has strongly condemned comments made by the Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore in which he said that the days of public sector unions responding to change by taking industrial action was history.


Mr. Finnegan said that Deputy Gilmore was attacking the trade union movement as part of a bid to make short term electoral gains.


“Coming from a former full-time trade union official these comments are bizarre.  What Mr. Gilmore glibly describes as change can often represent a fundamental alteration in the working conditions and terms of employment of public sector workers and at the end of the day the only weapon any worker has to defend his or her job is the right to strike.  This is a right that was hard won through the struggles of generations of trade unionists and is a constitutional right”. 


“Only last week Eamon Gilmore lauded SIPTU, the transport union founded by James Connolly and Jim Larkin 100 years ago and repeated Connolly’s dictum that the cause of Ireland and the cause of labour were inseparable. It hasn’t taken Gilmore long to separate these causes for electoral gain, how long can it be before he also abandons his pledge against government with Fianna Fáil?”.


Issued Sunday, 24th May 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics