The UNITE trade union, the second largest union in the Republic of Ireland, has called on all working people to vote for a left wing government in the general election likely to be held in March.
“Workers should use their vote in the upcoming general election to bring about a left-wing government for the first time in the history of the state,” said Jimmy Kelly, regional secretary of UNITE.
UNITE is an affiliate member of the Labour Party, and is encouraging the party to look left for coalition partners rather than to the old order of Fine Gael.
“The left has never been stronger,” Mr Kelly said. “Recent polls put the combined strength of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein at 40 per cent. This is substantially higher than either of the right-wing parties. With the support of other left parties and progressive independents, a left government is now distinct possibility.”
“We need to remove Fianna Fáil from government and keep their political half brothers Fine Gael out too. A vote for Fine Gael is a vote for more Fianna Fáil policies. They will support massive cuts to public services, privatisation, more job losses across all sectors, and social welfare cuts. There is nothing to be gained by helping Fine Gael back into office.
“While competition for votes and seats between left parties is to be expected, we should remember that progressives have more in common with each other than they do with either of the civil war parties.
“For the first time we have an opportunity to move away from out of touch and outdated politics based on history rather than ideology. We can produce a legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo liberalism. Right wing politics based on the markets has failed utterly. UNITE will be calling on its members, trade unionists, and all workers to use their votes to maximise left wing seats. We urge them to vote for, and transfer to, left wing candidates.
“The electorate will decide what the next government will be. We all have an opportunity to elect the first left government in the history of the State.”