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 […]

Right to Access Bill for Unions

It is incredible that, in the 21st century, union officials can be physically blocked from meeting their members in the workplace, especially given the crucial role trade unions play in workers’ rights, pay and conditions. As we are seeing in the Tesco attack on long-serving staff, strengthening the legislative rights of trade unions is key to supporting workers in their defense and enhancement of decent jobs and decent work. Sinn Fein are introducing a Bill to try change this. The Right To Access Bill will enhance the ability of workers to organise into unions and win better working conditions.  The […]

Worker militancy on the rise

According to the latest CSO statistics worker militancy is on the rise from mid 2016. They say 100% of days lost were in the transport and storage sectors. With health service workers and other dispute looming it is likely this will continue in 2017. Workers have clearly had enough and expectations are not just for pay restoration but for real pay increases. Rent increases alone has put serious pressure on young and low paid workers in particular. Get organised and fight for better pay in 2017.

Advance or retreat?

The people’s right to the ownership of Ireland: What does this mean today, and how do we get there? Advance or retreat? Desmond Greaves School, Dublin, September 2016 The recent EU ruling on “state aid” by Ireland to Apple brings into sharp focus the related topics of sovereignty, ownership of the economy, and the right of the collective over the right of private individuals and corporations. On the one hand you have a European court telling Ireland we cannot give special treatment to certain companies, or provide state aid, or interfere with the market, as they have determined it. Essentially, we […]