Sunday 11 December 2016

Cool heads needed to solve our pay disputes

Published 27/09/2016 | 02:30

The Luas strike, followed by the Dublin Bus strike, have set a tone, and we also face similar actions being extended nationwide via disputes in Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann Picture: Gerry Mooney
The Luas strike, followed by the Dublin Bus strike, have set a tone, and we also face similar actions being extended nationwide via disputes in Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann Picture: Gerry Mooney

It has been a long and hard road since the banking collapse of autumn 2008 and the total surrender of financial autonomy in November 2010 to the ECB-IMF-EU troika.

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Over that eight-year period, pretty much everyone in the Irish nation took a hit. All public sector workers, to their credit, took reductions in pay and conditions with a large element of stoicism. Ireland was spared the pointless and damaging convulsions of public sector strikes and street protests which compounded the difficulties in other European economies.

Claims that our public sector unions lacked backbone are fatuous in the extreme. Those union leaders deserve commendation and gratitude for taking a hard-headed and pragmatic stance. They prevented us suffering a longer and slower recession, despite the hardship and difficult personal stories associated with what happened to us.

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