SIPTU members in the union’s Community Sector have today (Wednesday, 24th March) urged the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, to reverse plans to privatise community and employment services including the Local Development Companies (LDCs) involved in job creation and support for the unemployed. The call follows a meeting of delegates at the sectors’ AGM held online today. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Jane Boushell, said: “This proposed process has created a real and genuine concern among our members that the wholesale privatisation of the community sector is the ultimate end game for this government. LDCs are constituted on a ‘not for profit’ basis and the proposal to change these essential services to a cost-bid rather than cost-met model will not serve jobseekers, staff or communities well. “The move may well ultimately facilitate the selling off of these important services to private companies with little to no positive outcomes for the communities our members serve. We are calling on the Minister to reject and reverse this free market approach and to halt any further race to the bottom in unemployment services.”