Solid support for strikes sends clear message to universities, says UCU. Strike AT Queens University Belfast

UCU said that strong shows of support for strikes at 60 UK universities* sent a clear message that staff would not settle for pay cuts, increased pension costs or deteriorating conditions. The union said it welcomed a call from shadow education secretary Angela Rayner for universities to put students first and bring a reasonable offer back to the negotiating table. UCU has warned that if universities fail to make improved offers then further waves of strike action could follow in the new year, with even more staff taking part.  UCU is currently consulting with branches at other universities about being balloted again to […]

Barriers to education facing vulnerable groups March 2018

The following statement made by Professor Kathleen Lynch UCD Professor of Equality Studies UCD School of Education at a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills May 29th 2018   I will make the following points based on my written submission: Barriers to education facing vulnerable groups March 2018 1. Note that the successes of Irish education are considerable.  2. The Intersectionality of Inequalities for Vulnerable Groups a. There is compelling national and international research evidence that economic inequalities translate directly and indirectly into barriers to education for all vulnerable groups, not just those on low incomes […]

Palestinian Children Conference. This Coming Weekend:

We are encouraging all unions to send delegations to this important conference. We are recommending that these are led by Senior Officials and those with responsibility for international solidarity. We also recommend  the involvement of executive committee and lay members who have a particular interest in championing the human rights of Palestinian people and their children. To register for the conference, email the names of delegates including name and union to Registration closes on 8 November. The conference will take place in the CWU Conference Centre on Friday 22 Nov. at 6-9pm and Saturday 23 Nov. from 9am-5:30pm.    

SIPTU members in Virgin Media Ireland to ballot for industrial action

SIPTU members in Virgin Media Ireland to ballot for industrial action Date Released: 20 November 2019 SIPTU members employed by Virgin Media Ireland will ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a dispute concerning an attempt to impose compulsory redundancies and the failure to implement a Labour Court recommendation by the company. SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “At very well attended meetings of our members held recently in Limerick, Dublin and Cork it was unanimously decided to conduct a ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action. “Our member’s decision followed the company’s failure […]

SIPTU members in SK biotech accept invitation to attend WRC talks

SIPTU members employed at SK biotech, the pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Swords, County Dublin, have accepted an invitation to attend a conciliation meeting at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). SIPTU Organiser, Jim Fuery, said: “Our members in SK biotech have agreed to attend a conciliation meeting at the WRC scheduled for Tuesday, 3rd December. The company has also agreed to attend this meeting.”

Late Imperialism. Understanding our Labour Efforts

Late Imperialism.   From Monthly Review August/September Issue 2019 The single most influential work on imperialism remains V. I. Lenin’s classic study of a century ago, Imperialism: The Latest Stage of Capitalism (better known by the title given to it following its first publication, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism).1 Lenin employed the term modern imperialism or simply imperialism to refer to the age of concentrated capital, during which the entire world was being carved up by the leading states and their corporations, distinguishing the imperialist stage from the colonialism/imperialism of the mercantilist and freely competitive stages of capitalism that preceded it. “Colonial policy and imperialism,” Lenin insisted, “existed before […]

Retail & bar workers set to lose flat rate expenses so millionaires can receive tax breaks

Almost 80,000 retail, bar and pharmacy workers are set to lose their flat rate expenses on January 1st 2020 so the government can hand a bonanza to highly-paid millionaire executives. Retail, pharmacy and bar workers are currently entitled to claim between €93-€400 in a flat rate tax relief for costs incurred during their employment. For instance, the purchase, maintenance and cleaning of uniforms, as well as the purchase of tools of the trade, stationary and other essential work items. Revenue has decided that low paid workers should lose these flat rate expenses while the Irish government appears happy to stand […]

Abolish the Industrial Relations Act!

When trade unions originated back in the mid-1800s they were considered, and even referred to in law, as criminal conspiracies. Employers at the time were openly hostile to sharing profits with their workers. The advent of trade unions eventually gave some power to workers and weakened the position of the employers, but they were not defeated; and it was only through many years of struggle by organised workers that gains were eventually made. Times and terminology may have changed, but relations between employers and employees have not. Employers’ sole purpose is to maximise the profit from employees’ labour. Employers have […]

Germany’s pyrrhic victory over the Berlin Wall ” Give me Socialism any day”

From The People’s World website Victor Grossman is the author of A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee. He defected from the U.S. Army in 1952 to escape the Cold War repression of the Red Scare. He lived in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from then until the country went out of existence in 1990. He continues to live in Germany today and authored this commentary on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. BERLIN—Media jubilation reached a climax here on Nov. 9th, thirty years after the bumbling, perhaps even misunderstood decision to open the gate for all East Germans […]

International Solidarity:McDonald’s strike: frustrated UK workers launch ‘McStrike’ against ‘poverty pay’

The McDonald’s workers are calling for their wages to be increased to £15 an hour, for an end to youth rates, the choice of guaranteed hours of up to 40 hours a week, notice of shifts four weeks in advance, and recognition of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) which represents the employees. The strike is taking place on a global day of action for fast food employees called by the International Union of Food Workers, which will see events in countries including France, Belgium, Brazil, Chile and New Zealand. ‘We are tired of being exploited’ The workers […]