Union attacks Labour over policy on workers
A TRADE union has condemned the Labour Party for its treatment of workers and the unemployed.
The beleaguered party got a fresh blow as UNITE heavily criticised its policies, particularly those of Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton.
UNITE, which has 60,000 members in the private and public sector, accused the government of "consistently" pursuing policies "which are damaging to the interests of working people".
In the message to members, its executive committee urged them to vote for candidates who oppose austerity measures.
Labour has enjoyed long-standing support from the union movement. However, UNITE disaffiliated from the party last year due to its alleged support for such policies.
Following a meeting of its leaders, the union rejected Minister Burton's decision to make schemes to get people off the dole mandatory, including Gateway and JobBridge.
"It is particularly disappointing that Labour ministers have introduced measures which are actively damaging to the interests of working people, while failing to introduce vital measures such as the right to collective bargaining," said the union.
"For the past five years working people have been paying the price – in job losses, public and private sector wage cuts, and increased taxes and charges – for an economic crisis not of their making."