PROTEST – NO CUTS TO PUBLIC SERVICES
5-6pm Thurs 24 June European Commission Office, Dublin Rd, Belfast
Trade unionists today spoke out against the Budget cuts to public services at a press conference in Belfast to promote a protest against cuts on Thursday 24th June.
Gayle Matthews, speaking on behalf of the Public and Commercial Services Regional Committee, stated
“We are deeply concerned that the government is trying to rail road the public into believing a short-term attack on the public sector, when there is a real risk it could further hirt the economy and our communities. Forcing down the living standards of low paid workers, whether in the private or public sector, and hurting the poorest in society will undoubtedly make matters worse.
“We are committed to working with other trade unions and community groups to campaign against the Governments programme of cuts and we will be supporting the protest on 24th June.”
Kevin Smith of the teachers union INTO added
“We are very concerned that children will suffer as a result of savage cutbacks to departmental budgets. In Northern Ireland education has already sustained serious cutbacks-the full effects of which have yet to be felt. This budget and radical proposals for the 2011-2014 Comprehensive Spending Review in the Autumn are likely to cause acute distress to teachers and public sector workers. For this reason INTO is supporting the protest against cuts on Thursday 24 June outside the European Commission Office, Dublin Road, Belfast from 5 to 6 PM.”
Jim Barbour from the Fire Brigades Union also called on workers to join the protest
“It is crucial that workers prepare to resist these cuts. The trade union movement together with local communities need to answer the Tories lie that ‘we’re all in this together’. The fact is this Budget is an assault on workers and the poor, but the wealthy stockbrokers and the rich who should be paying for this crisis are taking no hit. The Fire Brigades Union will be at the protest standing shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow workers against these cuts.”
Those supporting the protest now include: Fire Brigades Union, I.N.T.O. (Northern Region), Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Socialist Party, Workers Party, Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Organise, Cliftonville Regeneration Community Forum, Lower Castlereagh Community Group, Save Mid-Ulster Hospital, We Won’t Pay Campaign, Youth Against Racism, plus many individual trade union activists.