Eoghan Dalton Reports
A city councillor has been elected president of the Waterford Council of Trade Unions.The new president, Cllr Joe Kelly (Ind) is a lifelong trade unionist and member of Unite the Union.Speaking following his election last month, he said he was honoured to be chosen by members.“I follow in a long line of distinguished Presidents who all played their part in promoting WCTU, worker rights and the objective of a fair and equal society for decades.“I intend to play my part and help WCTU take a leading role in the many issues of the day affecting working people, retired people and indeed all the people in our society”.
Joe Kelly held the position of Vice President of WCTU for the last number of years and replaces John Mahoney who stepped down from the role as WCTU President after a successful two years in office.It is the second triumph at the ballot box in quick succession for the Hillview man; he was elected by voters in City West and Tramore to serve another five years as one of their local councillors last May.Cllr Kelly highlighted fighting for a 24/7 cardiology service at University Hospital Waterford as one of the political targets of the trade unions group.“In recent years WCTU and I have been heavily involved with the campaign for the provision of 24/7 Cardiac Care in University Hospital Waterford.
“The campaign has brought thousands of people onto the streets of Waterford and Dublin and the campaign for this vital service must continue until it is achieved.“Everyone in the South East must play their role in whatever way they can as it is only with all of us working together that this campaign will be won”.Concluding, the new president said: “We are faced with many challenges including the effects of climate change, a possible Brexit and the uncertainty that brings, a devastating housing crisis and a health service that is not functioning as a first world health service should be.
“Waterford Council of Trade Unions and I, as President, stand ready to play our part in the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead through positive and constructive engagement with all stakeholders.”