Jack O’Connor has no mandate for surrendering on water charges


Well over 100,000 people are expected to take part in over 90 anti water charge protests across the country tomorrow (Nov 1st).

But instead of throwing the weight of the country’s largest trade union behind the protests, SIPTU’s general president Jack O’Connor has this morning in the words of the headlined report on Newstalk’s facebook page been “waving the white flag”.

Not alone that, he has been doing the government’s dirty work and scaremongering about us having to pay “twice as much” if the water charge is scrapped.

According to O’Connor, there needs to be “a different approach” to opposition to water charges. And what does he suggest that that “different approach” should be? - basically we should accept them, pay up and continue to be good little girls and boys. In Jack’s world, preventing the introduction of the water charge means “the public would have to meet it through general tax - and would end up paying more”.

Jack – you’re either politically illiterate or a total cretin. You clearly have more interest in parroting the lies of Labour party ministers and officials than you have in representing the members that pay your hefty salary. Preventing the introduction of a water charge does not have to mean that we will pay more through general taxation.

There are other ways of raising money Jack. Have you never heard of a Financial Transactions Tax? Or a Wealth Tax? Or simply of making the wealthy pay?

Tens of thousands of SIPTU members will be among those protesting against the water charge tomorrow. Tens of thousands of SIPTU members will refuse to pay the charge when the bills come in January. Those members, along with their friends, workmates and neighbours are currently demonstrating that they have the bottle and the backbone to stand up to attempts to impose yet another austerity tax on us.

Jack O’Connor on the other hand is demonstrating that he has lost all semblance of backbone, that he does not represent the views of ordinary workers. Jack – you’re not part of our movement, you do not have the authority to “wave a white flag”.

SIPTU members – it’s time to force Jack to represent the members or get rid of him.

WORDS: Gregor Kerr