The IWW in Galway would like to state our sympathy and support for the thousands of workers made unemployed overnight on Monday and the thousands more predicted by the end of the month. We'd also like to thank the healthcare workers now facing much harder conditions with still no notable improvement in pay, the retail and transport workers keeping essentials on the selves and the parents working from home or taking paid leave while minding the children. Keep it up fellow workers. You're smashing it.
We can see in the reactions to this crisis from business and corporations that once again the workers are the least valued cog in the machine. Business owners from family run shops to the global mega-corporations have been quick to call for tax relief or compensation schemes with not a word about full sick pay for their workers. The offer of €203 p/wk for six weeks to affected workers by the government just doesn't cut it for far too many workers.
When rents for an average family home around Galway City comes in at about €1000 p/m how can €812 p/m cover that and essentials? It's simply not good enough. Once again the flaws in capitalism have been exposed and we workers suffer the consequences. Capitalism hasn't made anything. Workers have. Without us and our labour Capitalism shuts down. Everyday we're forced to support this system with our time and energy.
Now it's time that system supported it's workers. If it can't or won't it has to change. IWW Ireland has four basic demands for these unexpected times.
1) A full freeze on loan, debt, rent, mortgage, and rates payments along with a stop to all evictions by landlords or mortgage lenders.
2) Free healthcare for all including testing, treatment and medicines.
3) Release all petty crime and low risk prisoners and give them along with migrants in Direct Provision or detention centres full and equal treatment and rights.
4) Full sick pay. All workers affected by this pandemic must have access to full sick pay not counted against their annual sick leave for as long as precautionary measures continue.
We would also like to raise the issues around how those in our society already in vulnerable positions will find operating in daily life even harder. It's important for us to show community solidarity and help each other out where we can. Check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly and vulnerable, and see if there's anything you can help each other out with. Strong communities make safe streets folks!
Stay safe, solidarity forever!!