South Dublin County Council staff vote in favour of industrial action

IMPACT members working at South Dublin County Council have balloted in favour of industrial action following a decision by South Dublin County Council management to abolish ‘acting’ positions. The management decision effectively ordered staff to continue to perform senior duties, but on a lower pay rate. Staff at the local authority have voted in favour of industrial action by a margin of 86%. The form of industrial action to be taken is expected to be announced next week. IMPACT official Angela Kirk explained “In an act of calculated bad faith, council management announced its intention to cut the pay of […]

Alt-labor: a new union movement or the same old song?

Unions are evolving to survive, as protests against Walmart – without employees of the company – increasingly show. On a crisp and sunny morning on the day after Thanksgiving, a group of protesters gathered in front of a large Walmart in Michigan’s Sterling Heights, calling for wage increases and better working conditions for the superstore’s employees. Mary Johnson, a retiree and member of international activist group the Raging Grannies, stood next to Dan Lombardo, a plumber wearing old-fashioned overalls, who was carrying a sign stating “Walmart equals poverty.” Mothering Justice founder Danielle Atkinson, in a vibrant purple coat, turned up […]

Organize and fight for dignified work and life!

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) conveys a class, internationalist, and militant greetings to its almost 90 million affiliates in more than 120 countries of the world, to the class oriented trade union movement, to every worker all over the globe and calls them to honour this day with strikes, militant events, demonstrations. This year’s May Day finds the global working class under hazardous conditions. The recipe of all capitalist governments and imperialist mechanisms (IMF, World Bank, EU, etc.) for an “exit from the crisis” is the same in every country: pay – cuts, pension – cuts, authoritarianism, austerity, […]

Raising Our Expectations

Jane McAlevey challenges the Left to stop lamenting its disappointments in the working class and address our own failures. Taken from Portside Labor Sam Gindin Looking back to the defeat of the labor movement since the early 1980s, three lessons seem especially important. First, any gains made under capitalism are temporary; they can be reversed. Second, the kind of unionism we developed in that earlier period of gains was inherently limited; it left us in a poor position to respond to the subsequent attacks. Third, absent new forms of working class organization and practices, fatalism takes over and worker expectations […]

A rump clinging to the coat-tails of a future “partnership”?

Recent media reports suggest that, with a supposed “recovery” on the horizon, employers and unions are increasingly making noises about a return to some sort of partnership structure. The leadership of the unions, most notably Jack O’Connor and Shay Cody, have raised the idea of reconstituting some type of formal Employer-Labour Conference. IBEC’s response has been a cautious mixture: on the one hand, not entirely ruling out the possibility of such a forum, if only to deal with protracted individual disputes, while on the other, maintaining that firms are at different stages, and centralised wage direction is not an immediate […]

Legal attack on SIPTU is a warning to unions

Recently, various stories have appeared in the capitalist media about pay increases, hinting that IBEC and SIPTU want to return to some form of “social partnership,” purely on the pay issue. (None of the woolly stuff about social issues.) At the same time, capitalist shock-troops are using different negotiating tactics: force and intimidation. On the one hand, employers’ organisations have been leaking stories about pay increases; however, they want the “pay increases” to come from a reduction in tax. In other words, everyone finances pay increases for employers, so they increase their profits, and there is a further reduction in […]

What kind of movement do we want?

WFTU present at the 39th Congress of FNIC – CGT in France The WFTU participated in the 39th Congress of the FNIC – CGT Federation in France and was represented by its General Secretary, George Mavrikos, who delivered the following speech. Dear comrades, On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions, we salute the workers of the chemical Industry Sector in France, the members and cadres of FNIC. We convey a comradely, militant greeting to the Working Class and all the Workers in France. The Working Class of France has played in the past an important role in the […]

Struggle and conflict will rebuild the movement

The TULF is committed to building a fighting trade union movement capable of enhancing the lives of union members and pushing for a better and more equitable society for working class. This will only be achieved when the movement takes on a number of principles based on the reality of class struggle today. There are now examples from across the globe of Unions that are growing and winning on the basis of militancy and class solidarity. The Unions engaged in this kind of struggle are getting gains for their members and the communities they serve, and workers are responding to […]

For Labor To Succeed, It Has To Be Disruptive

Taken from Talking Points Memo Rosenfeld’s latest contribution to this here book club is especially timely. For the past few weeks, the liberal commentariat has been having one of its perennial debates over whether the labor movement is dying and, if so, whether we should mourn its passing. This particular iteration of the old back-and-forth was kicked off by Bloomberg View columnist Evan Soltas, who argued that American unions are as good as dead and that’s pretty much okay. According to Soltas, the primary function of unions is to promote the narrow interests of their dues-paying members and “provide a […]

Tribute to Bob Crow

The Trade Union Left Forum is saddened by the death of Bob Crow, and wishes to express its condolences to his family, and to the members of the RMT and workers more generally, which he led with such ability, courage and dedication. He showed clear principled leadership to his members, defending and advancing there interests and that of our class. Under his leadership, membership of the RMT increased by more than 20,000 embracing workers ranging from seafarers and rail staff to cleaners. He was admired by large sections of the British working class. Bob stood out among trade union leaders […]