The government want to use the Covid payment to divide workers and deflect attention from who is really benefitting from the emergency – gougers like Denis OBrien & Larry Goodman. Meantime, new mothers are terrified as their maternity leave comes to an end and they face a return to work with reduced supports and the absence of childcare, in these most dangerous times. Maternity leave and benefits MUST be extended. And the Ministers ‘pass the parcel’ again, to each other, to avoid meeting the very urgent and distressing needs of these women.

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Today in the Dáil, we challenged Minister Flanagan over the appalling treatment of asylum seekers in Direct Provision during the Covid crisis. The conditions there are an abuse of human rights at the best of times, for the 6,000 plus residents, but at the time of Covid, they may well be fatal. We now have 149 cases in 10 clusters. The government farmed out ‘care’ of asylum seekers to for-profit companies which costs the taxpayer €70 million a year. The people of Cahirciveen have shown magnificent social solidarity with the 120 assylum seekers packed onto a bus and sent down there – would that the government had as fraction of their decency.

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Praise is good but PROPER PAY AND PPE are better. On INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY the least FF/FG could do is pay them the full amount agreed from the strike. Many hospitals haven’t done that yet. And despite solemn assurances from Harris and Holohan, PPE is still an issue for many nurses and carers. People Before Profit were proud to stand in solidarity with nurses today outside James’s, Cherry Orchard, and Crumliln hospitals.

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