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DublinbusBrid Smith TD today welcomed the overwhelming vote for strike action by Dublin Bus drivers and members of the NBRU .
Noting the huge majority in favor of industrial action in pursuit of a pay claim, (over 96% voted in favour), Deputy Smith said the vote reflected the anger not just of bus workers but also reflected a wider sentiment among many workers who have also faced years of pay freezes, cuts and austerity taxes.
“I’m delighted my former colleague in the NBRU have given their union this mandate. After eight years of cuts, concessions and stealth taxes they very much need and deserve a decent pay rise. Unfortunately the Labour Court recommendation was an insult to a group of workers that are effectively owed 6% from past pay deals that were never honored, let alone a decent rise to reflect the sacrifices and cuts they have endured on top of that since 2008”
Deputy Smith also noted that Dublin Bus had returned to profit over the last three years, posting over 23 million euro in profits since 2013. “Given that this comes on the back of huge Government cuts in subsidies to the whole CIE group its a remarkable achievement, paid for both by the workers and the travelling public via fare increases and increased productivity, and only possible because of the work of those drivers and other Dublin Bus workers. Neither the Government nor the company have any excuse not to make a decent offer and pay these drivers” she said. “All talk of a recovery is meaningless unless workers can share in it and unless we raise wages across the economy. Profits and GDP rises will not butter any bread for ordinary workers, we need pay rises and a sharing of the wealth after years of austerity”
Brid Smith TD today condemned the attitude and actions of the Custom House apartment management company in relation to its treatment of several security workers at the complex.
Deputy Smith believes the management’s actions that have resulted in no security cover or untrained cover on several occasions is placing the health and safely of over 3,000 people living in the apartments at risk.
Deputy Smith stated “I would urge the management company to properly engage with these workers, the safety issue is too important to be left to the whims of individuals or to any haphazard arrangement. In the event of an emergency these issues could have huge implication for everybody concerned”
The Apartment complex has been the site of ongoing protests by security workers concerned at both their treatment in relation to workplace issues and safety concerns over staffing arrangements implemented by the management company.
Deputy Smith said she would be contacting both the City Council and other bodies who have a responsibility to ensure such apartments are operated in a safe manner and again urged the company to treat its workers with the respect that their work deserved.

Brid-Smith-2a-241x300Brid Smith TD has expressed her alarm at suggestions that a site that Dublin City council had only recently zoned recreational for the development of a proposed park and children’s playground might instead be used for Rapid Build housing units.

Deputy Smith pointed out that the City council had only recently zoned the site for recreational use after a local community campaign.

That campaign pointed out that the area around the Bridgefoot Street site has one of the highest densities of population in the state with very few public spaces and one of the lowest level of green spaces in the city. Several areas in the immediate catchment are categorised as Very Disadvantaged (The Pobal Index), while the entire area is badly in need of a public space that could encourage community and shared living experiences in a widely diverse and densely housed part of the city.

Deputy Smith said she supported the local community’s campaign and would resist this site being used for Rapid Build Units. “We have a huge housing crisis as result of the actions of developers and financiers and the complete refusal of the state to fund and build proper council and public housing. The same Minister and his colleagues have been in Government for over five years and watched as the state built the lowest level of social housing in its history even as the crisis worsened.

“This proposal is not the solution, nor are the other so called rapid build proposals. Instead of throwing incentives at developers in the hope that we can make them a sufficient profit to build, we need real investment in proper housing for our citizens. We don’t need, and won’t accept that railroading units into already deprived and densely populated areas with no green spaces is any form of a solution. I really fear that this crisis will be used to  fast track planning and bypass any objections. What we need is real funding for proper local authority house building; piecemeal rapid builds or small part V schemes will not solve this crisis”.

Governemnts Direct Provision policy is driven by state racism claims PBP TD Bríd Smith

Brid-Smith-2a-241x300In a statement, People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has said that Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s claim that there is no alternative to the system of Direct Provision marks her ‘abysmal failure to deal with the issue following years of inaction by her party Fine Gael in this area’.

Deputy Smith also pointed out that the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have labelled the system of Direct Provision in Ireland ‘a severe violation of Human Rights’.

This comes after former minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin had said previously that ‘the way we treat asylum seekers says a lot about us as a country’.

Deputy Smith said “These comments from the Minister for Justice are an affront to anyone who believes in equality and human rights.”

“The scandal that is direct provision will one day join the Magdalene laundries, and the abuse of children  in state and church run institutions as an example of our states contempt for the most marginalized and vulnerable. Minister Fitzgerald will be judged harshly by history just as are all those in power who failed to protect the past victims of institutional abuse”.

Al Helal will play match against Ballybrack u14s and participate a day of activities in Ballybrack F.C

palestinian-flagPeople Before Profit Dun Laoghaire on Sunday will welcome the Al Halal u14s to Ballybrack F.C for a family fun day. The fun day will consist of a football match between Al Halal and Ballybrack, a bouncing castle, face painting, a DJ, hula-hoops and Palestinian food and culture stalls.

The event will take place on Sunday 31 July, from 11-3 in Ballybrack F.C., Coolevin, Ballybrack, Co. Dublin.

The Al Helal group, which is made up for 12 kids and 2 coaches, will be travelling around the country visiting different football teams, the Lord Mayor of Dublin and other events on their 12 day tour.

People Before Profit Cllr, Hugh Lewis, who organised the event said that this was a “great opportunity for these kids to experience something positive in their lives.

“The situation in Gaza with the clear and blatant oppression of the Palestinian people means that these kids have grown up in an environment of violence, repression and death. These kids have experienced some of the most vicious state sponsored violence at the hand of the Israeli regime.

“Having these kids over to Ballybrack F.C is a fantastic opportunity for the kids to play football and make new friends. It will hopefully give them and experience they will remember for a long time.

“It is a privilege to have them over to Ireland. I would also like to thank Ballybrack F.C and all their coaches and members, for hosting this family fun day and offering friendship to these kids from Gaza.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, who will be attending the event, said “This is a very significant event for young people from one of the poorest places on earth and a place that has been utterly decimated by inhumane and indiscriminate bombing and military aggression by Israel over many years. These young people have been denied their childhood and life chances that we would expect in a civilised society because of the cruel treatment of Gaza by the Israelis.

“This is, maybe, a once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids to escape the hell that is Gaza, This is an opportunity for people in Ireland to realise that the people of Gaza and Palestine are just the same as anyone else but most of the time denied the opportunities that we all take for granted. They want to play football. They want to have fun. They want a future but they are denied this. We are delighted Ballybrack F.C have offered the hand of solidarity and friendship to these kids.

“We would encourage people from the wider Dun Laoghaire area to come along and support this event.”

Irish government must react by withdrawing use of Shannon Airport by US military

 In a statement, reacting to the horrific and sombre news that 28 civilians have been killed by a US-led coalition air strike in Syria, Richard Boyd Barrett TD has called for the Irish government to publicly condemn the US military campaign in Syria and withdraw facilities for the US military of Shannon Airport.
img_4276Richard Boyd Barrett said that the US and its coalition partners “have innocent blood on their hands” thanks to their misguided bombing tactics in the Middle East and that Ireland is implicated in these killings as long as it extends facilities to the US military at Shannon Airport.

“The bombing campaign against the ‘so called Islamic State’ has taken another disastrous turn today with the shocking news that 28 civilians have been murdered by US-led coalition bombs. This is the second mass casualty killing of civilians by US bombing in Syria in the last two weeks. The US bombing has apparently been designed to ‘save’ the civilians in this region but this is further proof that the US-led bombing and military tactics do not work and will only lead to more civilian deaths and increased radicalisation of people in that region against the West.

“I am calling for the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flannigan and the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to condemn this act and intervene in this matter immediately and remove facilities from the US military at Shannon Airport. Whilst Ireland facilitates US bomber aircraft and military in Shannon Airport, we bare some of the responsibility for this horrendous atrocity. If our government do not act by removing the US military from Shannon Airport, then the responsibility for the deaths of innocent civilians in these regions falls directly on our shoulders because of our lack of action and our failure to face up to the role we are playing in the Western Military project in the region. We in Ireland, a supposedly neutral country, have the blood of innocence on our hands as long as the US military are allowed to use Shannon.
“I condemn these actions by the US and its partners and I condemn them also for creating the environment in the Middle East of radicalisation through their militarist policies, which saw the invasion of Iraq and the destabilisation of Libya and other surrounding countries and the creation of a war zone in the Middle East region.”
People Before Profit TD  calls for the restoration of all social welfare cuts as priority for Minister for Social Protection 
Reverse the discriminatory u26 Jobseekers rate
Brid-Smith-2a-241x300People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has called on the government and Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, to reverse all social welfare cuts and restore them to 2007 levels. Deputy Smith also called for the government to end the discriminatory u26s Jobseekers rate.
Recently, Minster Varadkar has put forward the idea of increasing social welfare payments to those with more PRSI contributions. People Before Profit believe that what should be done before this is the reversal of the cuts to social welfare that have inflicted massive damage on local communities. The lower rate of Jobseekers for people under the age of 26 is a matter that has to be urgently addressed by the Minister.

Currently people under the age of 26 receive a lower Jobseekers Allowance payment than that of people over the age of 25. People aged 26 and over on Jobseekers receive €188, whereas people ages 25 earn €144 and persons aged 18-24 earn €100 a week.

Deputy Smith said “for the best part of the last eight years successive governments have been using the excuse of the financial crisis in order to slash social welfare payments. Critically though they have targeted the youth. Young people who are looking to avail of Jobseekers are penalised because of their age.
“The government, in not reversing the cuts to social welfare and specifically age based discrimination in the Jobseekers payment, are demonstrating their contempt for young people.
“The government must now reverse the discrimination manifested in their policies towards young people, specifically in the Jobseekers Benefit payment, and restore the cuts to social welfare which are a net to prevent people falling into poverty.”


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