Two Government poloiticians say they are backing the 24/7 frontline workers, who have been left out of the public sector pay deal.
Labour Senator, John Whelan said he had met with representatives of the group and had made representations on their behalf.
“I don’t think that the nature of their work and the level of their commmittement to their jobs has been adequately reflected. I believe them when they say that their colleagues are in mortgage arrears, some are applying for Family Income Support (FIS) and haven’t got the money to fill their oil tanks during this cold snap. They can’t take anymore cuts,” he said.
Senator Whelan continued: “They honoured the original Croke Park agreement which was to run for the next fourteen months and they feel they have been cheated for the government to come back,” he said.
“If they reject this current deal, I belive the government will be forced to impose it with legislation, which will trigger a full on strike for the first time in the history of this country.”
Senator Whelan called on the Tanaiste to intervene and meet with the 24/7 frontline workers.
“I would impress upon the Minister Brendan Howlin and the Tanaiste that they are sadly mistaken if they think these people are going to take this lying down. I hope a resolution can be reached as I think it would be disastrous for this country if a full on strike went ahead,” he said.
Fine Gael TD, Charlie Flanagan said he too was concerned for the 24/7 Frontline Workers.
“I am seeking a mechanism to allow them to the table, they have been disadvantaged by not being party to talks.”
Deputy Flanagan said he hoped the uniformed staff could be accomodated without resorting to industrial action, which he said there were no winners.
“Fairness is the key, and I hope every avenue has been explored to seek savings without causing undue hardship. From my reading of it, their concerns are justified and that is a real concern to me.”