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 […]

Next steps…

The Trade Union Left Forum is developing a set of common political principles for trade union activists to campaign on and mobilise around. The next step in this is on Thursday 17 November where Conor McCabe will present what he believe are 5 key policy objectives for an Irish Progressive Government. Please note change of venue from normal TEEU location to the Mandate offices. Hope to see you all there.

Unlocking the potential of trade unions for working people

TULF submission to the Right2Water

Overcoming common misunderstandings about trade unions There are some common misunderstandings about unions that fall wide of the mark and lead to a lot of confusion; and some of this comes from within the movement itself and is given life by some unions’ language and actions. For example, a union is an insurance policy for workers when something goes wrong at work; it’s a professional representative body; it’s an interest group . . . These are all common answers to the question “What are trade unions?” but none are right. Trade unions are the collective and pooled effort and resources of working […]

TULF Mtg Thursday September 22, 6pm

There was agreement at the last TULF meeting that a common political programme for left trade union activists is a necessary step forward. We hope this meeting, open to trade union activists, can help develop a common political programme. This forum meeting has no set speakers and is open to all to bring ideas and programme points for consideration. FB event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/305400799828607/

Does the trade union movement need a new political strategy?

Below is the the final contribution to our recent debate on a new politics for the trade union movement by Dave Gibney. A follow up meeting will be held in September to further the discussion on what should be in a class based political programme for the trade union movement. If you have thoughts on this please post on our FB page The very first question asked by an Irish Independent journalist at the founding press conference of Right2Water in August 2014 was: “why are trade unions getting involved in politics, shouldn’t you just be focusing on workplace issues?” To trade […]

Irish trade unionism and the end of Civil War politics?

By Sean Byers, delivered at the TULF meeting a political strategy for the trade union movement. In December 2015, as the Right2Water campaign continued to confound its opponents with mass demonstrations attracting upwards of 100,000 people, former Taoiseach John Bruton made this revealing statement to the Irish media: FG and FF have complemented each other through Irish history. In Ireland we have had consensus about major long-term policies largely because we haven’t had a sharp left/right or ideological divide. We have had differences, but they are differences about other things, not economics, and that has served the country very well… […]

United Action is Key to Way Forward

By Eoin Ó Murchú When the Labour Party was established in 1912, it was in order to give political effect to the trade union movement, and it was in that context that James Connolly, Jim Larkin and William O’Brien presented their proposal in Clonmel that year. It is obvious that that is no longer the party’s view of itself. At the recent Magill summer school, party leader Brendan Howlin argued that “the Labour Party must dare to imagine a better form of capitalism – one that serves the many, and not just the few.” And the key former adviser to […]

A Trade Union Strategy to Win for Working People

Speech at the Mother Jones Festival, Cork by SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, on Thursday, 28th July, 2016 Comrades and friends, This year’s Mother Jones Festival takes place against the background of the continuing trauma of the most serious crisis in global capitalism since the 1930s. It is important to say from the outset that this is a demand side crisis largely attributable to exponentially growing inequality in what we know as the “developed world”. The phenomenon manifests itself in the world of work or the “labour market” in the form of mass unemployment, increasing precariousness and social insecurity on […]

Important outcome from Labour Court

The Labour Court has issued an important outcome for Freshway workers in a case taken by SIPTU under the new legislation. On the question of evidencing union membership Joe O’Flynn, General Secretary of SIPTU, swore an affidavit in advance of the hearing to the effect that 63 of 170 workers were union members. The Court viewed this, 37%, as ‘not insignificant’ and passing the first barrier. The Company argued that they collectively bargain with an internal staff consultation committee but the Court found that it wasn’t an excepted body and that the practice was not collective bargaining as defined by […]

TULF May Day Statement – Solidarity is alive in our class

TULF submission to the Right2Water

The Trade Union Left Forum encourages union members and workers to join the Dublin Council of Trade Unions May Day rally. The annual May Day parade will take place on Sunday May 1st, assembling at 2.30 pm at the Garden of Remembrance and from there going to Liberty Hall/Beresford Place. Working class consciousness and militancy is growing in Ireland. Our class is on the verge of a win on resisting the commodification of water through water charges and the maintenance of public ownership of this important resource and utility. We have got to this point through communities, unions and workers […]