'Vital that all workers support this strike'
Socialist Party Press Release, 7 July 09
Socialist Party public representatives Joe Higgins MEP and Cllr Clare Daly have declared their support for the strike of 10,000 electricians to defend wages and conditions in the construction industry.
Joe Higgins MEP commented: “The stand taken by electricians in defence of wages and conditions on construction sites should be supported by all workers. Having priced projects in the expectation of the agreed pay increase for electricians, the major electrical contractors have pocketed the difference and are now looking to cut electricians’ basic pay by 10%. Workers should not be made to suffer for cut-throat market competition between the contractors as they undercut each other.
“This is a critical battle for all workers because it represents a fightback against a significant onslaught against wages and conditions in the construction industry. If the electrical contractors succeed in forcing wages down, their example will be followed by other employers in the construction industry and right across the economy.
“The claim that cutting wages will help the economy is an argument only designed to increase profits. Cutting jobs and wages will in fact worsen a vicious downward spiral as working people have less money to spend.”
Clare Daly, a Councillor for the Socialist Party in Swords and a SIPTU shop steward at Dublin Airport, said: “The experience in Dublin Airport and Irish Ferries shows what will happen if the attack on electricians succeeds – a race to the bottom in wages and conditions across the board. The Construction Industry Federation wants to implement a 10% wage cut for all workers in the industry, together with attacks on their conditions. The TEEU is conducting a battle in defence of wages and conditions on construction sites and should be supported by all workers in the industry and across society.”