Members of Cork Cost of Living Campaign staged a sit-in at Bord Gáis offices in Cork this morning, to protest what they describe as the “profiteering” of energy companies in the midst of a spiralling cost of living crisis.
Seven members of the campaign occupied Bord Gáis offices in Cork Airport Business Park on Wednesday morning, including Martina Stafford, who said that they wanted to highlight the “massive price increases” imposed by Bord Gáis five times since 2021, while at the same time recording a 74% rise in operating profits in the first half of 2022.
“We’re essentially highlighting that this profiteering is going on at the same time as people struggling to provide themselves and their families with the basics,” Ms Stafford said.
The Cork Cost of Living Campaign has organised a protest in the city centre this weekend. This follows on from a similar demonstration in September, which was attended by thousands.
“This protest on Saturday at 2pm is about poor people, workers, having to suffer through this crisis and we want to highlight that,” said Ms Stafford.
“We’re going to use this opportunity to highlight that we’re not going to put up with this and we are going to fight back,” she added.
Ms Stafford said the campaign is encouraging people affected by the cost of living crisis to get involved not just in this one upcoming protest, but in a “consistent fight back” against rising costs.
"We need to build a fight back because it’s going to get worse and we’re looking at an international recession in the new year,” she said.
“Especially for younger people, they should demand a future. They’re being forced to emigrate, 70% of young people are considering emigration, and that’s not acceptable.
"There’s plenty of wealth in this country, and that’s highlighted by the profiteering that’s going on. We deserve a share and we need to fight for it,” she added.
Saturday’s protest, part of a nationwide day of action, will assemble on Grand Parade at 2pm.
Bord Gáis has been contacted for comment.