Outdoor workers at South Dublin County Council were back protesting at council headquarters on Tuesday, March 11th.
This demonstration had the official backing of SIPTU. (Has Liberty Hall finally been awake from its slumbers?) As before, the timing of the demo was prompted by the monthly meeting of the councillors. A motion from Fine Gael’s William Lavelle, was on the agenda. It called on the Manager:
“To commence an examination of the feasibility of the use of private contractors to augment the Council’s litter management, cleansing and bin emptying service, with a particular view to seek to increase the capacity, frequency and effectiveness of service provision in specific areas.”
In a nutshell, Fine Gael’s man wants more privatisation. This will surprise few, as it is government policy, both of Fine Gael and their loyal handmaidens Labour. It is a policy dear also to the heart of Council management. It is also a policy that gets rid of properly paid jobs, while lining the pockets of private contractors who pay their workers as little as they can get away with. Well the SIPTU people were not having it.
Their hostility to the Gateway scheme was part of the protest. This is latest wheeze from Labour’s Joan Burton and her Department of Social Protection. Under this people would be forced to take jobs with the council collecting litter and the like while being given €20 on top of their dole. Essentially they will be made to work for €1 an hour. Burton’s aim is two fold, on the one hand unemployment figures appear to fall, on the other downward pressure to exerted on the wages of those already working, neat huh? Well SIPTU people have rumbled that too.
Council workers in all the local authorities across Dublin are organising defence of their jobs. They are to be congratulated for this. They will be an inspiration to others. People Before Profit members were present at this and the previous demonstration. People Before Profit will be with them all the way.
Oh, and Councillor Lavell’s toxic motion got the bum’s rush.