22 May 2010
At its regular meeting the National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland called upon public-sector workers to reject the proposed Croke Park deal as not being in their interests. If adopted, its provisions and impact would not be confined to the public sector but would have an effect throughout all sectors of the economy, both public and private.
This is a deal that will not deliver the re-establishment of pay and conditions already taken from public-sector workers but will lead to a further worsening of their terms and conditions. It is clear that the Irish Government, under instructions from the European Union, will further cut public spending, and this will include further attacks on pensioners and others in receipt of social welfare payments as well as public-sector workers’ pay and conditions.
The party pointed out that the leadership of the trade union movement has now abandoned its own alternative of “Get up, stand up: there is a better, fairer way” in favour of there being no other way forward except that presented by the Government and the EU.
The deepening crisis throughout the European Union, most concentrated in those countries in the euro zone, has exposed the deep fissures and contradictions at the very heart of the EU project. The events now unfolding have confirmed the Communist Party’s analysis of the nature, role and strategy of the powerful economic forces driving the integration process and the building of an imperialist superstate.
The strategy of the European Union is to impose deep cuts in public spending, ensuring the loss of tens of thousands of public-sector jobs, which will result in major job losses in the private sector. As we warned, this is the result of the adoption of the Growth and Stability Pact.
The EU Commission is attempting to save monopoly bankers and finance houses on the backs of workers. These attacks have not gone unanswered, with millions of workers throughout the European Union taking part in general strikes and other forms of resistance. This resistance has posed serious difficulties for monopoly capitalism and its political representatives in their efforts to impose their will upon working people.
We express our solidarity with all workers within the European Union who have resisted the policies being imposed by their governments at the behest of the EU Commission—the guardians of the interests of European monopoly capital. What is clear is that the EU Commission is now taking full advantage of the crisis to take further powers unto itself and to directly control the budgetary policies of member-states in the interests of monopoly capitalism and the main political powers at the centre of the EU, Germany in the first place.
The CPI once again expresses its solidarity with the workers of Greece and to our sister-organisation, the Communist Party of Greece, who have shown tremendous courage and discipline in their battle to defend and advance the interests of Greek workers, now under attack from the social-democratic government—a reflection of the bankruptcy of social democracy—under the direction and control of the EU Commission. We Irish communists also express our solidarity with Portuguese, Spanish and British workers who are now coming under renewed attacks on their wages and pensions and the services they rely upon.
The party calls upon workers throughout Ireland to resist the onslaught on their wages and conditions, to make working people pay for the crisis of monopoly capitalism. The election of a new Tory-dominated government in London is sure to have an immediate and drastic effect on the level of subvention from the British Exchequer to the Northern Ireland Executive.
The trade union movement must now prepare to mount determined resistance and meet head on the threat posed by cuts in public spending and their impact on the living standards of working people. The lessons from the vacillation, dithering and in some cases blocking of possible resistance by workers in the South by some leading trade unionists has had a significant effect on the morale of working people and has confused and disoriented them.
Economic policy and investment strategy cannot be left in the hands of the “Strategic Investment Board” to determine the investment priorities and economic and social development. These crucial areas must be subject to democratic control and be made accountable to the people, not as now constituted, to ensure the expansion of the discredited Public Finance Initiative and “public-private partnership.”
While the dominant economic and political minority will use the crisis to launch new attacks in a generalised offensive against working people, this also provides an opportunity for progressive forces to push forward their demands and win working people to progressive political, economic and social policies.
What is increasingly clear to growing numbers of people is that the economic solution being imposed on working people in the whole of Ireland will not advance the interests of workers, will not create the jobs for the hundreds of thousands of unemployed, to lift those mired in poverty. Both political entities have failed also as separate economic entities. The only sure and lasting solution is the building of an all-Ireland economy, with the interests and the needs of working people at its centre.
It is the belief of Irish communists that the attacks now under way throughout the European Union need to be met with united, determined action by workers. We will support any initiative that helps forward that unity against monopoly capitalism.