Monday 19 November 2018

Willingness to sacrifice jobs shows what's important to union barons

The actions of Peter McLoone et al in protecting public sector pay at all costs has made all of us in the private sector Communists by comparison, says Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

TO the left of Peter McLoone is a funny place to find yourself. Even if you were getting a plane to Florida, McLoone is likely to be going left while the rest of us plebs go right. But to the left of Peter McLoone, and seemingly Jack O'Connor and the rest of them too, is where most of us probably find ourselves now.

McLoone, you will recall, is general secretary of public sector union Impact, a job for which he earns €163,000 a year, a figure that is pegged to a public sector pay grade. In a recent confidential letter to his IR staff about the public sector pay talks, a letter that was leaked last week, McLoone said: "In my judgment the alternative (to pay cuts) is likely to involve a significant reduction in public service numbers over the next three to four years."

This may just seem like a neutral enough statement of a fact about what McLoone believes to be the realistic parameters of the current public sector pay talks. But if you take into account one simple fact of background, the above statement becomes astonishing. Peter McLoone is against the public sector taking pay cuts. But Peter McLoone is quite firmly of the belief that the alternative to pay cuts is cutting public sector numbers. Therefore, it is logical to assume that Peter McLoone thinks that in order to protect the pay of his members, jobs should be lost.

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