News that five trade unions the INMO, IMO, Unite, ASTI and the Civil Public and Services Union have recommended rejection of the proposed Croke Park Deal will be welcomed by workers across the State affected by the proposals. Significantly the unions cover workers across a large part of the public sector including Education, Civil Servants and Health. INMO, IMO, Unite and the CPSU organise 70,000 members. That combined with opposition within IMPACT and SIPTU, from other workers in the 24/7 Frontline Alliance indicates that the deal is far from done. Significant also is that they are considering opposing the deal even if the big unions accept.

The latest Red C poll is the third such poll that indicates that Fianna Fáil has recovered its strength in the polls. At 26% support FF is within 2 points of Fine Gael. The recovery in the FF vote should be a wakeup call to Labour Party members that coalition government and collaboration with Fine Gael’s austerity programme cannot solve the problems of working people in the state.

In Ireland a deal has been reached about another round of redundancies and pension and wage cuts called Croke Park II. Over the next few weeks the debate within the unions and in the press will be fierce. All of the forces of the ruling class and the government will be unleashed to try and sell this deal through the press and the media and through management pressure. We publish here two articles from the Fightback website on the question.

The National Basketball Arena in Tallaght has 2,500 seats. All these were filled tonight not to mention that more than 1,000 other people were standing in the aisles and around the doors. The 24/7 Front Line Alliance pulls together general and psychiatric nurses, paramedics, prison officers, fire services and gardaí. The mood from the rally was clear; no more pay cuts.

On August 2007 just before the melt down in world capitalism the unemployment figure in the North of Ireland was  23,700. In December 2012 that figure was 62,200. It is the largest figure it has been for more than 15 years. (Irish News 24/1/12)

While the opening skirmishes in the renegotiation of the Croke Park Agreement have played out behind closed doors, the battle lines have been drawn for some time. Within months of the General Election  Fine Gael TD’s were baying for Croke Park to be torn up or at least savaged. The employers organisations, and of course all the fine ladies and gentleman of the press have all weighed in. As we have reported previously one particularly unpleasant Independent journalist even tried to bring poor James Connolly in on the side of the Government. No one with even the minimum knowledge of Connolly, or the miserable counter revolutionary history of the Independent would be fooled by that one.

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