Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

UNITE Union Calls for a Left Vote in the Irish General Election

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Statement for immediate release

Sunday, January 9th 2011


The UNITE trade union, the second largest union in the Republic of Ireland has called on all working people to vote for a left wing government in the general election likely to be held in March.

“Workers should use their vote in the upcoming general election to bring about a left-wing government for the first time in the history of the state,” said Jimmy Kelly, Regional Secretary of Unite the union.

UNITE is an affiliate member of the Labour Party, and is encouraging the party to look left for coalition partners rather than to the old order of Fine Gael.

“The Left has never been stronger.  Recent polls put the combined strength of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein at 40 percent.  This is substantially higher than either of the right-wing parties.  With the support of other left parties and progressive independents, a Left government is now distinct possibility.”

“We need to remove Fianna Fáil from government and keep their political half brothers Fine Gael out too.   A vote for Fine Gael is a vote for more Fianna Fáil policies.  They will support massive cuts to public services, privatisation, more job losses across all sectors, and social welfare cuts.  There is nothing to be gained by helping Fine Gael back into office.”

“While competition for votes and seats between Left parties is to be expected, we should remember that progressives have more in common with each other than they do with either of the civil war parties.”

“For the first time we have an opportunity to move away from out of touch and outdated politics based on history rather than ideology.  We can produce a legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo liberalism.  Right wing politics based on the markets has failed utterly.  UNITE will be calling on its members, trade unionists and all workers to use their votes to maximise Left wing seats.  We urge them to vote for, and transfer to, Left wing candidates.”

“The electorate will decide what the next government will be.  We all have an opportunity to elect the first Left government in the history of the state.”



Rob Hartnett


Hartnett Public Relations

Rock Court, 40 Main Street, Blackrock,

County Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jan 12, 2011 at 8:18 am

One Response

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  1. The Dublin Council of Trade Unions has adopted a position similar to the UNITE Union :

    Motion passed at executive meeting of Dublin Council of Trade Unions on January 11th 2011

    Council conscious of the grave economic crisis affecting the country, calls on Congress to pressurise
    all political parties contesting the forthcoming general elections, to adopt policies advocated by Congress and its affiliated unions to reflate the economy as the prime object.

    A reduced budget deficit in an extended time frame will only be achieved by creating jobs.

    All recent budget cuts such as the minimum wage and social welfare reductions must be reversed.
    Alternative revenue could be sourced by way of a wealth tax, a tax exiles levy,tax evasion crackdown and many other such measures as set down in recent trade union documents.

    As Fianna Fail or Fine Gael are unlikely to support the main propositions in this trade union

    Policies, Congress should urge members of affiliated unions to vote Labour and other left-wing political parties.


    Jan 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

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