Press Release for Immediate Release
Issued on behalf of Right2Change
Today (Friday 21 February 2020) the four Right2Water trade unions, Mandate, Unite, Communications Workers Union and OPATSI have called for all parties, groupings and candidates of the left to coalesce together with a view to establishing a progressive government for change. It’s precisely what the Irish electorate voted for in unprecedented numbers.
John Douglas Mandate General Secretary said, “There can be no doubt the Irish electorate have grown tired of the “old politics” practiced since the foundation of our Republic by both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. This seismic and historic vote for change should be respected by all politicians. Any attempt to return to a cobbled together “old style coalition” involving Fine Gael and Fianna Fail is not in the best interests of our country and would be a power grab against the wishes of the massive electoral mandate given to Sinn Fein and the broad left.”
Brendan Ogle, Unite Senior Officer, continued, “Our four unions are united in pushing for a progressive government that does not involve either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail. As Right2Water and Right2Change unions we’d welcome a broad left government coalition focussed on delivering the changes this country desperately needs in terms of housing, health, education, public services and long overdue improvements in workers’ rights. If it cannot be formed now, then the vehicle needs to be developed now to ensure a brighter future. We need to see a government with neither Fianna Fail nor Fine Gael in it. Our Right2Change policy platform provides the perfect template for a broad left government to pursue and it is these policy ideas that our unions will continue to pursue for the betterment of everyone in this country.”
“There is an unquenchable attitude and desire for change which has permeated throughout Irish society” according to Stevie Fitzpatrick CWU General Secretary, continuing he said, “Progressive trade unions will pursue progressive people centred policies that deliver for the vast majority and not vulture funds and finance capital. As part of the Right2Change union family we firmly believe that progressive unions have both the capability and desire to effect real and sustainable change. By supporting a broad left coalition in government focussed on delivering on our Right2Change policy platform we can help deliver on the desperate change urgently needed within Irish society.”
Billy Wall, General Secretary OPATSI, concluded, “This election result has given us an historic opportunity to significantly change how our country prioritises its citizens. The lack of public housing and the homelessness crisis were undoubtedly two of a number of key factors in the decision taken by the electorate to demand a more egalitarian policy platform, such as Right2Change, for future government priorities. Our members stand ready with our brothers and sisters in the Right2Change unions to fully support a progressive broad left government coalition to prioritise the many issues of deep concern raised by our members, their families and the demand for real change emanating from so many within our struggling communities. History will not absolve us if we stand idly by and let this historic opportunity for political change pass.”
NOTE TO EDITOR
Right2Change is a political campaign that arose from the Right2Water campaign in Ireland. R2C is supported by four trade unions, Mandate, Unite, CWU and OPATSI with a combined membership figure of over 100,000 members.
R2C is built around a document called “Policy Principles for a Progressive Irish Government.” The principles are the outcome of an extensive consultation process between individuals, community groups, trade unionists, political parties and independent representatives – all of whom have been involved in the campaigning against Irish Water‘s introduction of water charges in Ireland.
(access the policy document on link below)