Union to vote on protest campaign

THE 45,000-member Technical Engineering and Electrical Union will today decide whether to support a campaign of civil disobedience if the Government does not call a general election.

The union’s executive has put the motion down for discussion at its biennial delegate conference in Galway. In the motion, the executive says the union “condemns the Government for its criminal negligence in the management of the economy and for colluding with the banks in misleading the Irish people as to the seriousness of the crisis we face”.

Also at the conference TEEU general secretary Eamon Devoy will warn delegates that he believes “we are on the brink of significant civil unrest in this country, the like of which has not been witnessed in this jurisdiction for decades”.

Mr Devoy is expected to attack the Government’s plan to take €6bn out of the economy in the next budget.

“When the draconian measures being proposed are heaped on top of the €14.5bn cuts already implemented in the last three brutal budgets, life in Ireland will be unbearable,” he said.

The union will also call for widespread backing for next Saturday’s Irish Congress of Trade Unions march against the Government’s austerity measures.

In his address, Mr Devoy will say: “What we are witnessing is a dismantling of social welfare provision and pensions for older people and the unemployed, health services for the sick and open access to higher education for our young.

“The Government is floundering blindly through this crisis, dragging us all towards the precipice rather than confronting the wealthy elites in our society whom it has slavishly served in the past.”

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