Editorial: The gravy was gone a long time ago in Ireland, Mr Ogle
The assertion by ESB Group of Unions secretary Brendan Ogle that 'the gravy is all gone' is hard to swallow given that the average pay of workers in this state organisation is over €65,000. At a time when 282,000 people are unemployed it is difficult to see how such a well paid and, to use his own words, privileged workforce have so much to complain about that they could threaten to bring a vital resource like electricity to a halt in the run up to Christmas.
Of course ESB workers have suffered cuts in hard won allowances and perks, but so have most workers. In the private sector many of these cuts, including pension cuts, have been far more severe, yet workers have kept the head down, doing their jobs in the hope that they will survive the recession.
Mr Ogle and other union leaders should be mindful of how hollow their words sound against a backdrop of the decision by MSD pharmaceuticals to close its plants in Swords, Co Dublin, which employs 570 people and the threat to jobs in the A-Wear chain which went into receivership yesterday.