So the unions who have been quiet all week have finally entered the fray.A PROMINENT trade union leader is to warn today that the country is on the brink of “significant civil unrest”.
The remarks are to be made by the general secretary of the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU), Eamon Devoy, at its biennial conference in Galway.
The conference will also debate an emergency motion calling for a campaign of civil disobedience if the Government does not hold a general election.
Separately, it is understood the European trade union organisation Etuc has urged that the IMF/European Commission/ European Central Bank team in talks on the proposed rescue package for the State should meet the social partners.
The request was made by the general secretary of Etuc John Monks in a letter sent yesterday to the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn.
Yesterday Shay Cody, general secretary of Impact, the largest public service union in Ireland, also urged that such a meeting should take place.
In his address to the TEEU conference today, Mr Devoy will argue that “we are on the brink of significant civil unrest in this country, the like of which has not been witnessed in this jurisdiction for decades”.
It is understood that he will strongly criticise the Government’s plan to take €6 billion out of the economy in the next budget.
“When the draconian measures being proposed are heaped on top of the €14.5 billion cuts already implemented in the last three brutal budgets, life in Ireland will be unbearable.”
The emergency motion to be debated at the conference, which has been put forward by the union’s executive, “condemns the Government for its criminal negligence in the management of the economy and for colluding with the banks in misleading the Irish people as to the seriousness of the crisis we face”.
It says that “this policy of economic sabotage has led to the betrayal of our country and to the loss of the last shreds of our economic sovereignty.
“We now call on the Government to resign, hold a general election and face the verdict of the electorate.
“If the Government persists in clinging to power we call on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and other civil society organisations to launch a campaign of civil disobedience to force an election on a regime that has no principles and no objective beyond staying in office for as long as possible”.
Mr Devoy is expected to urge union members that in the next election, they should “vote for candidates who address the needs of working people”.
Is anyone listening tho?