May Day: new Irish Secretary of Unite warns employers must pay for industrial peace

Susan Fitzgerald says strong unions best defence against wage-squeezing

“The more strike-ready workers are, the more talk-ready employers are”

April 30th: Speaking ahead of the annual May Day rally organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, Unite’s new Regional Secretary for Ireland, Susan Fitzgerald, today (Sunday) warned employers that union members are prepared to take industrial action to secure cost-of-living pay increases.

“We celebrate International Workers’ Day at a time when working people are fighting back against an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. 

“In 2022, inflation rose by 8% while wages rose by just 3.4% on average, leaving workers to absorb a real pay cut of over 4.5%.

“At the same time, profit margins accounted for over 60% of prices in the domestically-owned sector – the businesses where people work and where they spend their money. 

“Multinational profits are also soaring.  In the first three months of this year alone, the State took in €3.2 billion in corporation tax receipts, a staggering €1.3 billion, or 71%, increase over the same period last year. 

“The profiteering crisis is costing workers on the double, in terms of higher prices and suppressed wages.

“The only bulwark workers have against wage-squeezing is strong collective workplace organisation.

“Where possible, cost-of-living pay increases will be secured through negotiation – but Unite members will not shy away from taking strike action where necessary.

“Experience has taught us that the more strike-ready workers are, the more talk-ready employers are”, Susan Fitzgerald concluded.

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