Dáil debates

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Nurses and Midwives Industrial Action: Statements


10:50 am

Photo of Mick BarryMick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity) | Oireachtas source

Fine Gael Ministers are losing the battle against the nurses in the court of public opinion. It is a battle I believe they cannot win. Senators Colm Burke and Buttimer expressed concern at their parliamentary party meeting last night that Fine Gael could be hit hard in May over this issue. Their nervousness is entirely justified.

Our message to the public is to stick firm with the nurses and remember who is really responsible for disruption in the health service. Our message to the Dáil is that next Wednesday afternoon, Solidarity-People Before Profit will bring a motion before the House demanding that the Government pays the nurses. We have head the fine words today. Let us see the actions and have parties that have spoken for the nurses vote for that motion next Wednesday.

Our message to the nurses is to keep their nerve, keep up the pressure and remember that striking workers never won anything in negotiation that was not first won on the picket lines. They should step up the pressure on the picket lines, and they can win.

Our message to the trade union movement is that the nurses must not be left to stand and fight alone. The entire trade union movement should use the next 48 hours to mobilise the maximum number of people possible to rally with the nurses in Dublin this Saturday. Moreover, other public sector unions should now open up a second front against Government pay policy. This means balloting for industrial action to reverse completely the cuts in pay imposed in the austerity years, including the question of two-tier pay for new entrants. The workers united will never be defeated. Victory to the nurses. Victory to the midwives.


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