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Wicklow Shows Support for Home Help Workers

29/08/12

On Thursday, August 23, over a dozen activists and supporters from éirígí and the Independent Workers Union attended a march against severe cuts in services and staffing to the community Home Helps services in Wicklow town.

The rally in Wicklow town, which brought together over 200 protesters, assembled at 3pm at the Grand Hotel car park and marched to the offices of Wicklow Community and Family Services (WCFS) on Abbey Street. The Home Help workers are protesting against the savage attacks to their wages and cuts to their hours of work.

Home Helps rally

In the last four months alone the management of the WCFS has cut up to 10 percent of the workers’ wages and all premium rate payments have ended. Neither the management nor the Health Services Executive (HSE) has attempted to negotiate with the workers’ union.

Speaking after the rally éirígí activist Adrian Ó Raghallaigh said, “Once again we see workers bearing the brunt of the austerity programme, driven by the EU and IMF and implemented by the Fine Gael / Labour Party 26-County government. The Home Help community service is being ripped apart in Wicklow and throughout the state as well, to make way for a total privatisation of this much needed community service.

Home Helps rally

“Wicklow town has seen health service cuts severely infringe on the well being of the community. Back in 2010 the HSE closed the residential care unit in Wicklow District Hospital, which catered for 20 long term residents. Thousands had marched in vain against the closure.”

To conclude Adrian stated, “Profit-motivated Home Help services will only end with standards dropping and professional care becoming just another administrative after-thought. éirígí will continue to support workers’ rights within the Home Help services across this state and continue to highlight and expose the privatisation agenda of the Twenty-Six County Government.”

 

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