Dublin Central TDs Maureen O’Sullivan and Mary Lou McDonald today (Friday,9th August) signed a SIPTU petition calling on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, to “respect community sector workers and meet their union”. Nearly 1000 people have signed the petition in response to Minister Hogan’s refusal to meet with SIPTU members to discuss their concerns over plans to align Local Development Companies with Local Authorities. This alignment process will have major implications for jobs and services as well as removing control of services from local communities.Maureen O’Sullivan said: “I support the petition because there has to be meaningful consultation with the workers. Staff and services for communities have to be prioritised. The community workers are the people who know the issues and the problems, and can certainly contribute to the solutions”.Mary Lou McDonald said “Phil Hogan should have the sense to know that you can’t bring about major change in any organisation without talking to the workers. He needs to engage directly with workers and their union”.  SIPTU Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, said: “This campaign will escalate in the coming weeks. We will be meeting TDs on a constituency-by-constituency basis and asking them to show their support by signing our petition. Every TD should support this petition; all that our members are asking for is the right to be represented by their union. It’s time for Minister Hogan to show respect to these workers and sit down and talk”.