Unions escalate action in pay row
Published 08/03/2010 | 14:30
Union chiefs have agreed to escalate the fight to reverse pay cuts with a series of work stoppages.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions vowed to ratchet up industrial action in the civil and public service through tactical strikes.
Peter McLoone, head of the Impact trade union and chairman of the Congress public services committees, said stoppages would vary across each sector.
"We have always said that escalation of the industrial action was inevitable unless there was progress towards a settlement," he said.
"There has been no progress and the action is now going to escalate to include the withdrawal of labour."
Work-to-rules have been in force across many sectors of the public and civil service since January 25 in an attempt to hit the Government without causing massive disruption to the public.
Congress said individual unions would announce the length and type of stoppages in the coming days. Schools are expected to close.
Mr McLoone said the campaign aimed to get a negotiated solution to reverse pay cuts, protect future pay and pensions and avoid compulsory redundancies.
"The public service transformation proposals, put forward by the unions and rejected by Government last December, could be back on the table if the Government was prepared to say pay cuts could be reversed over time as savings are made through transformation," Mr McLoone said.
"But the longer the industrial action goes on, the harder it will be to convince our members of the merits of such a deal or the Government's capacity to deliver it in a fair and effective way."