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Waterford News: Trade union movement urged to take lead in fighting Shell

Waterford News: Trade union movement urged to take lead in fighting Shell

Friday, July 22, 2005

THE Waterford branch of the Socialist Workers Party has called on the trade union movement to take the lead in supporting the campaign to force Shell to build their Mayo pipeline at sea and for the release of the Rossport 5.

The call comes as the five men — Philip McGrath, Willie Corduff, Vincent McGrath, James Brendan Philbin and Michael O’Seighin — are entering their third week in prison. The SWP joined others in staging pickets on Shell and Statoil stations in Waterford over the weekend in support of the Rossport 5.

The refusal of Shell to abandon the gas pipeline, which is being built not far from people’s houses — a situation that even Minister for the Marine Noel Dempsey has admitted is unprecedented — and the continued imprisonment of the Rossport 5, demands that the campaign be stepped up.

The SWP is calling on the trade union movement to instruct their members not to use Shell and Statoil and that workers and drivers within these companies be supported in any actions they may decide to take.

Thanks to a deal done by corrupt minister Ray Burke in 1987, a deal improved by Bertie Ahern as Finance Minister in 1992, the State will gain nothing from the gas resources at the Corrib Gas Field. Shell will pay one of the lowest tax rates in the world and will be exempt from paying royalties. The fears of the people of Mayo appeal to be well justified.

21 people died in a gas pipeline explosion in Belgium last year, 12 were killed in New Mexico in 2000. In the past twenty years there has been 4,000 pipeline accidents in the USA alone with 382 deaths.

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