Press Release

Workers in Local Development Companies launch campaign to defend community programmes and jobs against Hogan’s take over plans

Date Released: 21 March 2013

Up to 2000 workers in the community sector face an uncertain future as a result of the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government’s plans to dismantle existing structures for community services.

The Government’s Local Government reform document “Putting People First” sets out an “alignment” between Local Authorities and LDCs that will have major impact for both workers and local community services.

Over 50 Local Development Companies based throughout every county in the State currently deliver a range of quality community based services with regard to enterprise, education and training in areas of disadvantage.

Under the Ministers plans close to half of these companies will close. His proposals to “align” these services within local government structures also put millions of euros of European funding at risk.Speaking after a national meeting of LDC shop stewards, community development worker Manus Bree said “last week in the Daíl Minister Hogan indicated his intention to “rationalise structures” as part of this so called “alignment” process.

We know that this means job losses and reduced services for local communities. If his Department is intent on making such big decisions about our jobs and our local services the least we would expect is a process of consultation with our union about these plans and their implications for both employees and the communities we work with”.The bottom up approach of independent Local Development Companies has been internationally recognised as a best practice model. The independent nature of these companies is also a stipulation for continued receipt of millions of Euros in European Rural Development funding.  Any change must consider the interests of communities and workers and SIPTU are launching a campaign to defend vital local services and jobs.

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