Sunday, 3 May 2009

International Labour Day

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the annual Irish Congress of Trade Unions May Day Parade in Belfast to coincide with International Labour Day. The worsening economic crisis has meant that this year the mood of participants was particularly determined, resolute and with much more impetus.

At this time of economic crisis, when people are losing their jobs and employment protections are being rolled back, it is important that workers stand together in solidarity in the face of depreciating socio-economic conditions.

The local impacts of the economic crisis are now beginning to be revealed- with workers and small businesses across Europe finding themselves at the mercy of the failing economic markets.

In this climate of uncertainty it is vital that political parties work together to meet the economic challenges that people are facing in their everyday lives.

Currently the DUP/Sinn Fein regime is failing people and failing to meet the challenges laid down by this crisis. There can be no room for policy inertia- the DUP and Sinn Fein must set aside petty political positioning and start delivering for workers.

But these tough times must also be met with progressive policies- not the tired, old economic philosophy that has been responsible for this crisis and the same that was behind the failed DUP/Sinn Fein budget.

This destructive economic philosophy is failing people right across Europe and it is obvious that now is the time for new leadership.

Our current European representatives are failing us all. We haven't seen or heard from them for 5 years and now they have the bare faced cheek to ask for our support. People deserve better.

That is why in June’s European elections it is vital that the SDLP is returned with a strong mandate to the European Parliament.

Only by supporting candidates such as Alban Maginness can we have positive change for Europe- he is committed to creating a more Social Europe that puts people first.

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