Joan Collins warns of ‘summer of discontent’

Left-wing TDs have warned of a summer of industrial unrest unless employers back down on pay disputes that are set to take centre stage.

Independent TD Joan Collins said while no one wants the potential strike action in key public services, it will happen if workers are blocked from receiving long-overdue pay rises.

Speaking at a cross-party protest in support of Luas drivers attended by TDs from the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, Sinn Féin and Independents, Ms Collins said she and her colleagues were appalled to hear Ibec yesterday claim workers should not seek pay rises now.

While saying left-wing TDs are in favour of resolving the Luas strike and other issues without resorting to walkouts which automatically see workers going without wages for weeks, the Dublin South Central TD said there is a growing risk that work stoppages may be needed to force pay rises.

“No worker takes industrial action lightly, no one wants to go that far and I don’t think anyone’s looking forward to a summer of discontent. But there might be one if employers don’t respect the legitimate rights of workers to look for pay claims and conditions,” she said.

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