A future worth fighting for – Workers Charter

  Dear friends and comrades, The Trade Union Left Forum is releasing a workers charter, an initiative to organise left trade unionists around a progressive workers rights programme. The charter, A future worth fighting for, emerged from a consultation with activists, supporters and friends throughout 2015 and 2016. Draft TULF Workers Charter And so on Thursday, October 5th at 6pm, we are hosting a discussion on the draft workers charter in Mandate Trade Union offices. You can check out our FB event https://www.facebook.com/events/1438700992914745 to register.  Workers deserve a society where our needs come first, before the interests of big business, exploitative employers […]

Why trade unionists should oppose CETA

The main goal of CETA is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. These ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most prized social standards CETA also seeks to create new markets by opening up public services and government procurement contracts to competition from transnational corporations, threatening to introduce a further wave of privatisations in key sectors, such as health and education. Only the rights of corporations are clarified; those of workers are ignored or couched in vague provisions. Not only does CETA not contain a […]

Making sense of a world that impacts us all

Below is a short piece by experienced trade union educator and activist Mel Corry on Trademarks political education for trade union activists and staff. For more info on Trademark check out http://www.trademarkbelfast.com/featured-news/trade-union-education-news  “The popular element “feels” but does not always know or understand; the intellectual element “knows” but does not always understand and in particular does not always feel.” Antonio Gramsci  This quote from Gramsci encapsulates why we at Trademark have been developing more political content for Trade Union education over the last number of years. As long ago as 2012 we looked at the various education products that were available […]

McDonalds workers to strike in Britain

McDonalds opened their first store in Britain in 1974 and for the first time ever workers are set to take industrial action. Workers at McDonalds, members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, have been leading the Fast Food Rights campaign in Britain which has been campaigning for secure hour contracts, £10 an hour and trade union representation and rights. Previously as part of the campaign the Labour Party, under Corbyn, refused a McDonalds stall at their annual Party conference. The campaign has just achieved an initial victory as McDonalds has introduced some guaranteed hour contracts. Following the ballot for […]

Public Transport or Private Gravy Train

It has been announced that the operation of 10% of Dublin bus routes has been handed over to a private transport company ironically named “Go Ahead” as if to indicate the nod and the wink that usually accompany such deals that our gombeen political class are involved in. This is nothing less than the start of the privatisation of the public transport system. They can parcel it up whatever way they want but it is privatisation. Public ownership and management of our services is about providing them in a decent reliable safe and environmentally friendly way at the same time […]

Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020

Article by a public sector worker on why they are voting No to the PSSA as it increases the working day, intensifies work with insufficient return for workers and has wider negative implications for all private sector workers Every so often I think has Karl Marx’s analysis of capitalism any relevance today? Then I come across the following from Volume 3 of Capital: “The level of exploitation of labour, the appropriation of surplus labour and surplus value, can be increased by prolonging the working day and making work more intense” The Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 carries out both these […]

Good luck to Mandate and Dunnes workers

  TULF wish Mandate and Dunnes workers the very best in the Labour Court next week. Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light told us today,   ‘We are going before the Labour Court next week with a very important case for Dunnes workers and for workers generally. The issues we are bringing forward under the recent Industrial Relations (Amendment Act) 2015 are around hours of work and contracts. These workers should be entitled to decent secure hours of work so they can plan and budget their lives. The uncertainty they exist with is simply unfair in a so called modern […]

‘Service Providers Agreement’ to secure collective bargaining for workers in services contracts

CWU secures new service providers agreement with eir which will provide new opportunities for organising and winning with workers Over the last number of decades outsourcing  and the use of third party service providers has become prevalent in the economy with many large companies utilising these practices to save money, increase profit and hand-over control of non-core activities to ‘specialist’ companies. In response to this workers secured protective legislation known as TUPE which secures, at a basic level, terms and conditions of employment and collective bargaining for trade unions. However, as these business trends have developed employers have found ways […]

Debt, inequality, and industrial action: The chicken or the egg?

Trade unions remain the most tangible and most effective way to reduce inequality. Unionised work-places tend to have fairer, more transparent and more equitable pay models, which provide pay increases year by year for workers above inflation. They redistribute wealth from the surplus value created by workers that would otherwise go to profits (or dividends and executive pay) to workers’ wages. However, as unions have weakened, and union density throughout the economy has weakened, all workers have suffered. Low pay has become more prevalent, inequality has grown, and contracts have returned to the more “flexible” model of the nineteenth century. […]

Worker militancy on the rise

A wave of workplace militancy has arisen in recent months which has produced a number of notable victories for trade unionists. The end of several years of muted opposition from workers to cuts to conditions and pay or doing more work without improvements in earnings – under the cover of ‘increased efficiencies’ – can be traced back to the industrial action by SIPTU members in LUAS in the early 2016. This protracted and bitter struggle resulted in a substantial pay increase for LUAS drivers, with the victory achieved in the face of unrelenting media attack. The win set a precedent […]