SIPTU members working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs, will stage a protest outside the opening of the ‘think-in’ of the Fine Gael parliamentary party in Trim Castle, county Meath, on Monday, 13th September at 9.00 a.m., to highlight their opposition to the privatisation of the sector. SIPTU Public Administration and Community Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “Our members have been left with no option other than taking their protest directly to the Fine Gael parliamentary party and the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys. Despite numerous requests for a meeting with the Minister she is still refusing to engage with us on the future of the sector. “The protest will highlight the decision by the Minister for Social Protection to change the tendering process for the provision of essential local employment services. She has introduced a process which seeks to move the provision of these services from not for profit community sector providers to for-profit private companies. “Her silence on this issue must be broken and at our protest we will reiterate calls for the Minister to live up to the commitment she gave in the Dáil to immediately engage with all stakeholders concerned with local employment services.” He added: “The fact is that there is huge support from elected representatives in Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour as well as among Independents and others for the retention of LES and Jobs Clubs in their present form. Fine Gael stands alone in its attempts to railroad these changes through.  “This summer, SIPTU launched the ‘Our Community is Not for Sale’ campaign to oppose the privatisation of these community services. The campaign has received widespread support that clearly indicates that clients and the general public do not support the privatisation of these services.”