Gerry Adams criticises Tesco moves to cut wages

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD and Party Leader Gerry Adams has expressed his deep concern at efforts by Tesco to cut the wages of long serving staff members; this includes workers who have been employed by the company for 20 years.

After meeting with Tesco workers in Dundalk today, Gerry Adams said:

“Tesco Ireland is one of the most profitable companies in the State. It is unacceptable that it should be seeking to reduce the pay and terms and conditions of its long term and most loyal employees. 

“Workers, like some of those in Dundalk with decades of service, are being asked to accept a cut in pay and a substantial cut in hours. This is sharp practice and another example of an extremely profitable company rowing back on workers’ pay and rights.

“This government has failed to legislate to protect workers, especially low paid workers. It uses words like competitiveness, flexibility and attractiveness to justify exploitation and a growing low wage economy. 

“Its claims of a recovery stand exposed, but it is a two tier recovery built on the exploitation of low paid workers, the extension of zero hour contracts, and the refusal to recognise the right of trade unions to negotiate and represent large amounts of workers.

“Sinn Féin is for a fair recovery, a sustainable recovery, and that must mean recognising the rights of workers, and proper rights and conditions.”

 

Cllr Flood welcomes Better Late Than Never Work By Irish Water

Imelda & KennethSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Floood has today welcomed the long awaited news that work is going to commence on the North Quay water main in Drogheda.

Cllr Flood said “Residents and businesses on Drogheda’s Northside all the way out as far as Termonfeckin are only too aware of problems with water pressure as well as the frequent water outages caused by the North Quay’s watermain bursting”.

The watermain at North Quay has become notorious for bursting resulting in businesses being forced to close and having a knock on effect of either low water pressure or none at all in some parts of Drogheda.

Cllr Flood, who together with Cllr Imelda Munster have been battling with Irish Water since 2014 to have the antiquated pipe replaced.

“Louth County Council announced as far back as July 2014, that Irish Water has allocated funds of €129,000 to replace the 300 metre asbestos cement pipe and that work was expected to be completed by the end of that year. Since then there have been a series of delays which amounted to no more than bureaucratic nonsense and in the meantime the water outages have continued. Councillor Munster has described the North Quay Watermain as not fit for purpose and I agree. While we await North Quay Water Main replacement, the pressure in this area is restricted and therefore has the knock-on effect of lowering operating pressure in Termonfeckin while water is Rosehall is off.”

“Finally after all this time and after many battles with Irish Water, I am pleased to say that Irish Water has confirmed that the tendering process is now complete and work on the main is due to commence in late March. Better late than never!”

 

Sinn Féin Moves To Insure All Estates Get ‘Taken In Charge’

Gerry, Kenneth & ImeldaThere are 29 housing estates classified as ‘unfinished’ in the National Survey of Unfinished Housing Developments (December 2014 update) in County Louth. However, this list does not include estates or developments that have been completed but have not been ‘taken in charge’ which means they are being forced to pay the Local Property Tax but are unable to access services for the development.

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood explained what this meant. “Take for example Beaulieu View which was built as far back as 1992. The Council have confirmed to me that an application was never received by the developer to have the estate ‘taken in charge’. What this means is if for example a street light goes out it’s usually a very simple process of ringing ESB and giving them the pole number, they come out and fix it. But for an estate that has not been taken in charge, it is the responsibility of the residents albeit through a management company paid for by the residents to foot the bill before it can be fixed.”

Kenneth Flood explained how, in the case of Beaulieu View all efforts to track down the developer have been fruitless. “After the so-called Celtic Tiger era we were told many of the developers went bust so we have a generation of home-owners who are paying this tax on their home but are unable to access basic maintenance services”.

Cllr Imelda Munster, who is a candidate in the upcoming election and is a member of the Corporate Policy Group on Louth County Council brought forward a motion that all developments like Beaulieu View across the county of Louth should be categorised and listed. Cllr Munster also asked the Council to commit to a plebiscite schedule for all these developments to ensure they have an opportunity to be taken in charge.

Cllr Flood said “I am delighted to say the council have agreed the motion and the required report will be included under planning in the Chief Executives Report to the March monthly meeting of the Council. There are developments in this county going back 40 years that were never taken in charge. For decades tax payers were paying for services they could not access. But now we have the commitment for the plebiscite schedule for all of these developments to ensure they have an opportunity to be taken in charge, we can get to work bringing all of these housing developments finally under the care of the council”.

Suicide and Mental Health – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD on Friday morning met Peter Moroney from SOSAD, the Suicide Awareness and Prevention group in Louth.

Teachta Adams commended “all of the countless suicide prevention support groups and all of those in our health service and related agencies that work hard every day of the week in seeking to reduce suicide.”

Gerry Adams said:

“According to the most recent statistics available for suicide in this state 459 persons – 368 males and 91 females – took their own lives in 2014. During the same period there were 62 undetermined deaths which in the north and in other countries are normally counted as suicide. At the same time around 300 citizens in the north die each year from suicide.

It is generally accepted that the real figure for suicide is higher and that as many as 1000 citizens die across this island each year by suicide.

The human cost of this on families and communities is devastating. The reality is that all sections and all generations of our society are affected, from the very young to the very old, and in rural and urban areas.

Self-harming is also a huge issue in Irish society today. Thousands are admitted to hospitals every year as a result of self-harm which in many cases go unreported.

 

Mental Health is an area that successive governments have failed to provide an adequate level of service. This is despite the fact that 644,000 people or one in seven adults have experienced mental health issues in the last year.

The funding allocated to mental health is insufficient. The framework documents, ‘A Vision for change’ proposed a mental health funding of 10% of the overall health budget. This has never been achieved.

Among our detailed proposals on mental health Sinn Féin would increase the mental health budget in year one by €35 million.

We would complete the rollout of Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurses. Only 24 of the 35 nurses approved for this programme had been recruited by mid 2015.

We would recruit mental health nurses, specifically to liaise with homeless services commencing with five in year one.

We would reverse cuts introduced by the government in 2012 to guidance counsellors.

And we would update the Mental Health Act and Criminal Law (insanity) Act to bring them into line with international best practice.

One significant contribution to tackling suicide and self-harm would be greater co-operation between the health services north and south. In particular the creation an all-Ireland Suicide Prevention Agency that would co-ordinate the work of all of those involved would bring immediate benefits.”

Kenny’s Tory fear tactics won’t work – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD was in Limerick with Cllr Maurice Quinlivan and later in Clare with the party’s Clare candidate Noeleen Moran.

Speaking in Clare Gerry Adams criticised the efforts of Taoiseach Enda Kenny to “frighten the electorate into voting for the government parties.”

Gerry Adams said:

“Enda Kenny is shamelessly copying the British Tory scare tactics from last year of trying to frighten the electorate with his spurious claims that the election is a choice between prosperity and poverty; stability and chaos.

“It’s not. Unlike the parties of broken promises who want to give tax cuts to the wealthy, whilst perpetuating the chaos that exists in our public services, Sinn Féin’s focus is on dealing with the concerns of ordinary people.

“There is a cosy smug consensus between Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael against Sinn Féin because we offer a fair and decent alternative in which citizens can together build a new, prosperous and equal Ireland.

 “Sinn Fein’s message is one of hope over fear. It is a message that a better, fairer Ireland is possible.”