Date Released: 28 May 2013
SIPTU has called on funding to be made available to maintain the operation of Cultúr, the only community organisation in County Meath that is dedicated to working with migrants experiencing social exclusion and racism.
SIPTU Meath District Committee Secretary, John Regan, said: “Cultúr is now in a situation where they have just enough money to pay wages and rent for May. Despite repeated requests to the Office of the Promotion of Migrant Integration (OPMI), they have been given no indication whether or not further funding will be provided.
“The OPMI is under the remit of the Department of Justice and Equality. It would be short sighted in the extreme for the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, not to make funding available for Cultúr. As well as the ending the vital work Cultúr undertakes it also makes no economic sense. The closing of Cultúr would result in the loss of two jobs, at least, and result in increased costs for the Department of Social Welfare. Overall an essential service would be lost to the local community with little actual financial saving for the exchequer.”
He added: “The Government has introduced a 0.6% levy on pension funds supposedly to pay for job creation and retention. There has been little evidence of the funds generated from this scheme being utilised to create or retain jobs. The SIPTU Meath District Committee calls for monies to be made available from this fund for the maintenance of Cultúr.”
SIPTU has worked closely with Cultúr in assisting with the provision of information to migrant workers on their rights and entitlements, most recently jointly launching a poster to mark World Cultural Diversity Day on Monday, 20th May.
SIPTU Campaigns and Equality Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “Cultúr has been at the forefront in providing information and increasing awareness among migrant workers of their rights. The closure of Cultúr would result in greater exploitation of migrant workers and the reduction in decent working standards for all by exploitative employers.”