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5 February 2013

On Saturday, 9 February, TSSA will be taking part in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions series of demonstrations across the country to call for urgent action to tackle our growing unemployment crisis and the €64 billion debt burden which is crippling the country.

The feeling of frustration and anger of all working people of this country be that public or private sector will be demonstrated to the government and our so-called European partners, who will be looking on, from a far. It is crucial that we have a massive protest against the bank debt and the one-sided austerity policies imposed by the EU/ECB/IMF troika on Irish workers and their families.

This demonstration will also involve community and voluntary organisations and a wide range of civic society groups. We encourage as many TSSA members as possible to participate in one of the many demonstrations which will be taking place on that day.
TSSA members, family and friends have had five years of pain by imposed cuts, tax increases, various levies and no wage increases.
The previous and current government have carried out austerity policies that have resulted in plenty of economic misery and no or little progress. As the trade unions warned, these polices have devastated the economy and society. Our domestic economy has shrunk by over 25% in the last three years. This has meant workers have lost jobs and in many cases their homes.

If you are angry at the crushing debt burden, the jobs crisis, the steady emigration of our young people and increasing poverty then turn out for one of the marches! This is our chance to tell the banks and EU leaders how we feel.

The 64 billion debt will hang around the necks of generations of Irish people for decades to come unless the burden is lifted.

Irish people have taken on an incredible 40% of the total cost of the bank crisis across the EU. Each Irish citizen has already paid €9000 compared with an EU average of €190 per person. The disparity between the pain inflicted on the Irish people, with less than 1% of the total population of the EU, (and just 1.2% of its GDP) and the contribution from many other, richer, states is unacceptable and to make matters worse they want you to now pay more! Debts that you did not create.

European and other international banks and finance houses that recklessly lent money to the poorly regulated Irish financial sector to fuel a property boom have been the main beneficiaries of the punishing debt repayments that have crippled the economy.

If we accept the government solution of just extending the repayments over a longer time period, of decades rather than years, we will not solve the problem but pass it to the future generations of Irish working people.

Bank debt and austerity have prevented any hope of economic recovery. The Anglo Irish promissory notes currently cost the State €3.1 billion plus interest each year for ten years, this is money that should be spent on ensuring jobs in Ireland and starting an economic recovery.
Ireland’s role as current EU presidency is an opportunity to highlight this injustice.
We cannot just stand by and allow our children and grandchildren to face a future of unemployment, emigration, low living standards, poor public services and economic instability to pay the debts incurred by gambling banks who’ve paid nothing for their greed, dishonesty and incompetence.
We need to send a strong message to the troika, other EU governments and working people across Europe that only a comprehensive write down of Ireland’s debt burden can save the economy from decades of recession. That’s why it is essential to organise a very strong turnout at the rallies. It is equally important to have a strong visible TSSA presence at the rallies. It is essential to ensure a strong turnout by encouraging all TSSA members in your workplace to attend one of the rallies taking place nearest to them.

On Saturday 9th February you have a chance to Join the Protests and send the message loud and clear - ‘Lift the Burden - Jobs not Debt

Join the National Protests on Saturday, February 9 (assemble 1.30pm).
DUBLIN: Cook Street (near Civic Offices, Wood Quay);
CORK: SIPTU offices, Connolly, Hall Lapps Quay;
GALWAY: Cathedral Car Park; LIMERICK: Mechanics Institute, Harstonge Street;
WATERFORD: The Glen (in front of the Forum);
SLIGO: Sligo County Council Offices, Riverside
Look for the TSSA banner and flags and join together with your fellow TSSA members to lift the burden!


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