9 October 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

Think-tank says jobless will rise

THE Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has said that it has had to revise its forecast for 2009 as a result of the worsening financial crisis in the 26 Counties.
The latest ESRI report predicts that the Government will have a 5.5 per cent deficit in the budget and this deficit will continue into next year. As well as this, the ESRI believes that unemployment will rise to 8 per cent in 2009 compared to 6.1 per cent predicted during 2008, with an average of 30,000 people leaving the state in 2009
The economic think-tank also say that the increasing ‘tax share’ may be unavoidable in the medium term if desired levels of public services are to be maintained.


CPSU recommends rejection of new pay deal

THE executive of the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) is recommending a rejection of the new pay deal in the 26 Counties to its membership in a forthcoming ballot.
It is believed that the executive of the trade union, which represents lower-paid civil servants, is concerned that the pay increase of six per cent phased in over the course of 21 months would not match the rate of inflation. The proposed new pay deal also includes a pay pause for public service employees for 11 months.
Under the rules of the CPSU, if the membership rejects the proposed pay deal while it receives support from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the union will be required to ballot its members on whether it would be prepared to undertake industrial action for a pay claim.
The executive of the Unite trade union has also recommended a rejection of the pay deal to its members. SIPTU is holding a consultative conference on the issue in a fortnight.


Vincent de Paul warning

THE Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) expressed concern this week that social commitments given by the Fianna Fáil-led Government are being overshadowed by the ‘Pay and Workplace’ elements of the social partnership talks.
Vice-President Professor John Monaghan said:
“We fully recognise the importance of this aspect of social partnership but social partnership is about much more than pay and conditions.”
He said that SVP signed up to Towards 2016 as the Government explicitly recognised the complementary relationship between social policy and economic prosperity but he also said:
“What we’re seeing now are the same old responses to economic challenges with those who barely survived in Celtic Tiger times being hit very hard again.”
The social commitments in Towards 2016 are suddenly pushed back with the mantra “economic circumstances permitting”, according to the SVP.


Odlums to close in Kildare

SALLINS, County Kildare, will see the loss of 26 jobs when Odlums closes its milling and packaging operations after 80 years.
The packaging operations will cease in six months while the milling may continue for up to a year. It is understood that the management of Odlums, which is now owned by Origin Enterprises, met with trade union representatives about the closure.
Workers are highly critical of the decision to close the operation as most of their produce was exported to the American market where it was highly successful. However, Odlums have sold the rights of the brand name to an American company.
A SIPTU organiser in Kildare, Andrew Kane, has said that they will meet the company next week to secure favourable redundancy terms for the 26 workers who will lose their jobs.

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