Right2Change movement dealt a blow as union pulls out

The Right2Change movement has been dealt a blow, after a union that had signed up to the group decided to pull out.

The decision came after Sinn Féin’s surprise announcement earlier in the week that it would be joining the election voting pact.

The executive committee of the Civil Public and Services Union last night voted to step back from the Right2Change initiative which aims to co-ordinate a platform for the left ahead of the general election.

The union said it still supports the campaign against water charges — one of the key proposals held by Right2Change — but said it cannot join the group “as it would run counter to the union’s long-standing policy of not supporting political parties or individual election candidates”.

It said in a statement: “The executive said it was highly conscious of its members’ role as employees of the State and the requirement that they work with the Government of the day regardless of its political make-up.”

Right2Change had given groups, political parties, and independents until yesterday to decide on joining the voting pact. It will hold a conference to announce details on this today.

Spokesman David Gibney said: “There will definitely be more people inside the tent than outside the tent.

“It would be unfair of us to make announcements on behalf of parties or people who have responded in confidence or who have yet respond.”

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan has ruled herself out, as have the Social Democrats, which said: “At this point in time our focus is on building the Social Democrats with the intention of standing in the upcoming general election as a wholly independent party.”

Kerry independent Tom Fleming, part of the Independent Alliance, last night said he would be speaking with members of his grouping next week, but said he had not made a decision on joining Right2Change.

Mick Wallace, Clare Daly, Thomas Pringle, and Joan Collins will be taking part in the voting coalition.

Gerry Adams said independents and other smaller parties have more to gain than Sinn Féin from the pact. He said: “All of these parties, just like our own party, have to make up their own minds on these matters.

“I do know that it will have an impact upon those other parties, Sinn Féin has a very, very sizeable vote and us asking our voters to transfer to other people, to independents, or to other parties who support the Right-2Change will certainly be a decided advantage to them.”


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