Article from the Oct 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

NO privatisation Redundancies


BERTIE HAS lined out his new Cabinet. Apparently we now have a new caring government that will solve all of societies ills just in time to get re-elected at the next general election.

By Stephen Boyd

This is crap! This government is still committed to a right wing anti-working class agenda. And to the forefront of this agenda is the privatisation and sell off of our public services.

The drive to sell Aer Lingus is gathering pace. Willie Walsh's latest madcap idea to save money is to ditch the uniform and put the cabin crew in t-shirts!

"It is absolutely incredible that the top management are plotting the asset stripping and privatisation of Aer Lingus while they are supposed to be protecting the interests of the workers and the taxpayers. Mr.Walsh and his cronies should be sacked immediately" said Joe Higgins Socialist Party TD.

The union leaders are offering no opposition to the government's privatisation agenda. The arguments which must be opposed are the nonsense that privatisation will result in more efficient and cheaper services for the taxpayer. The facts disprove this claim. The Auditor General has already stated that Public Private Partnerships (PPP's) agreements to build schools have cost up to 20% more than if they were built by the State. The example of the Cork School of Music (see page 2) shows what privatisation is really about. The private company Jarvis will make 60 million in profit if they get the contract.

In Britain the privatisation of the public transport system has not only led to worse services, but the government are giving bigger subsidies to the private companies to run the bus and rail networks than they gave in the past to the state owned companies. British Airways was one of Thatcher's flagship privatisations. BA is now 8 billion in debt, and the staff shortages are so bad that flights are regularly cancelled.

Privatisation simply means that big business gets its hands on our public services at knock down prices. Secure, pensionable and unionised jobs are replaced by low paid virtual slave labour, and the new multinational owners make mega-profits.

The battle against privatisation can be won at Aer Lingus (see page 11) and a victory by Aer Lingus workers would seriously damage the government's plans to sell off our public services.

"There is no more room for pussyfooting with the management and government. There must be absolutely no outsourcing, absolutely no job cuts, absolutely no privatisation. A major campaign of industrial opposition would get huge support in the greater communities in Dublin, Cork, Shannon and generally among working class people. This is the only way that we can save Aer Lingus" said Joe Higgins TD.

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