The Communist Party of Ireland stands in solidarity with the 15 trade unions representing 170,000 workers taking part in the Generalised Day of Strike Action across the 6 counties. The co-ordinated day of strikes is the most significant, militant action by the organised working class in the north for a generation.
Our Party calls on the British Secretary of State for the 6 counties to immediately accede to the demands of the public sector unions. Over the past year the strike actions in pursuit of the unions’ demands have had unprecedented support from union members and the general public. Unfortunately, even though he has admitted that he has the funds to settle the dispute, the British Secretary of State is refusing to do so until the DUP agrees to restore the Executive.
His refusal to settle the dispute exposes the lack of democracy which exists within the 6 counties. Westminster is in control of the purse-strings and even if the Executive was functioning, it could only administer the funds provided by Westminster. The absence of the Executive merely removes the veneer of democratic control by the Assembly.
The Generalised Day of Action, called by the ICTU, shows the power of the organised working class. This power must be used to push for a better society in which the interests of the working class are central. Central to any such campaign must be demands for an all-Ireland health system free at the point of use, an all-Ireland housing policy and all-Ireland industrial and environmental plans.