The SIPTU Community Sector has launched a petition calling on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, to meet with the representatives of workers who will be affected by his plans to “align” Local Development Companies (LDC) with Local Authorities. SIPTU Community Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, said: “The alignment of LDCs and Local Authorities will have an impact on workers. So far Minister Hogan has refused to talk to LDC workers about the big decisions he is making about their future. Workers deserve to have their voices heard.”Over 700 community workers and project participants have already signed the petition on with many stating the reasons why they support the call for the Minister to “immediately engage with our union SIPTU to address our issues on alignment.”Among them is Lorraine O’Donovan from Dunmanway, County Cork.She said: “The model [of community development] that Ireland has presented with regards bottom up deliver is internationally recognised as the optimum way to work – it is senseless and neglectful to willingly dismantle this.”Michelle Rogers from Bray, County Wicklow, said: “Community workers, who have been working closely with marginalised groups, have huge experience of working with individuals to support them to make changes in their own lives, and an understanding of the barriers and issues they face. Those workers should be listened to and represented.”To sign the petition click here