Croke Park II - the view from the north


The Croke Park 2 deal soon to be voted on in the republic will force all public sector workers there to accept 1 billion cuts to be delivered through wage cuts & longer working hours leading to fewer jobs.  So far only a few unions balloting their members are calling for a NO vote to the extension of the Croke Park agreement. By most unions the deal is being sold as the only way to avoid worse cuts.  Instead, a walkout and a indefinite strike is what needs to happen. Public sector workers can reclaim the Unions from so called realpolitik and keep hold of the hard won collective bargaining rights for workers not yet lost in Croke Park one.

The stimulus for change for must come from the workforce not the Union leaders who have, to date, been ‘managed’ by Labour government policies and no doubt, feel that their hands are tied. Telling southern workers this is this best ‘deal’ workers can get will not reverse the damage already done in terms of losses for public sector workers.

This Agenda of cutbacks being forced and implemented for yet more years is damaging.  In the North we look to the Unions and ICTU and the Labour government in the Republic and wonder why austerity is being tolerated and signed off on yet again. Perhaps with a wider Union response from members and rejection of the Croke 2 contract it will inspire Union membership further afield to become more involved in fighting cuts and capitalist austerity.  The organised protests outside DWP in Belfast City Centre to demand complete overhaul of the ATOS sickness benefits assessment company procedures and the current organissation around the anger at the proposed introduction of the bedroom tax in the North are  ongoing efforts against the slashing of public funding.