Those participating in such a strike would be placing their credit profiles and their homes at risk, according to the director of the Irish Mortgage Corporation, Frank Conway.
Delegates at a recent Irish Congress of Trade Unions conference backed calls for a “mortgage strike” by at least 100,000 people unless mortgages on primary residences are reduced to genuinely reflect current Irish market value.
Dave Hughes, of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation, told the conference that people’s fear over losing their homes due to inability to meet their repayments could be turned into a powerful bargaining tool for workers and mortgage payers in this country.
He proposed a collective web-based action which would not commence until 100,000 people have signed up and are prepared to go along with the action.
However, Mr Conway said that this proposal has all the hallmarks of “emotion winning over reason”.
He said that society cannot afford wild-cat mortgage strikes that are likely to cause chaos for both the bank and the individual mortgage holder.
“There are ways to gain the attention of bank bosses without deployment of what would ultimately be a ‘scorched-earth’ tactic,” he said.
“The Achilles heel of the banking sector continues to be their capital base. Perhaps it is here where union bosses could focus their attention and fire their warning shots if they really want to grab the attention of bank bosses,” he added.