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Public have no say in public sector action

ANTHONY Leavy’s position on industrial action by public sector unions (Letters, January 25) defies logic.

He agrees that state coffers are bare and that the Government has to act, declaring that “if there is no other way but to cut public pay, so be it.”

If this is his view, then it should be impossible to support public sector industrial action against the pay cuts, as he does. Logic would dictate however much we dislike such cuts, we have to accept them.

Of course public servants have “a right to expect their interests to be represented” by their unions.

This is hardly a point of controversy. But their interests are hardly being represented by industrial action in the present economic climate. Quite the opposite.

Should they succeed in their declared aim of overturning these essential cutbacks, then we can declare an end to Ireland as an economic entity, and that is in no one’s interest.

There is something profoundly undemocratic about such industrial action which would bring the country to a halt. The general public have no say this.

Are we to allow a democratically elected government, belatedly taking essential steps to undo the mistakes of the past, to be dictated to by powerful vested interests who will never face the public through the ballot box?

As for Mr Leavy’s dismissal of my call for “solidarity,” all I can say is that, far from being “Utopian,” it is the only realistic option we have. We have two choices as a nation. We can either fight like dogs over the carcass of the Celtic Tiger or we can realistically face into our present difficulties and collectively make whatever sacrifices are necessary to come out the other end. To quote Benjamin Franklin, “we must all hang together or, assuredly, we shall all hang separately”.

James McGrath



Co Tipperary


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