SIPTU and Fórsa members, working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs, have today (Wednesday, 1st September) announced the details of a national day of protest, including an action outside the Department of the Taoiseach, for Monday 6th September. SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “Following an overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action, SIPTU members employed in LES and Job Clubs have agreed that a national day of protest will take place next Monday. “On this day our members will highlight the decision by the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, to change the tendering process for the provision for these essential community services. If allowed to proceed this process will result in the full transition of these services to ‘for profit’ providers.  “Phase 1 of this process has already resulted in job losses and the refusal by the Government to get to grips with this growing crisis cannot be left unchallenged. The reality is that these workers have, very successfully, been providing these essential public services for over 25 years. After all those years of loyal service they have been left with no other option but to take to the streets to fight for their jobs and livelihoods.” “The constant calls from SIPTU and Fórsa representatives for an urgent meeting with the Minister have been unanswered. This is not acceptable or sustainable. What is needed now is a genuine stakeholder forum to agree a fair way forward.”  He added: If this does not happen, this dispute will only escalate further and that will undoubtedly have an impact on these essential community services. The reality is there is huge support among elected representatives across the country for the retention of LES and Jobs Clubs in their present form.  “This summer, SIPTU and Fórsa 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.”