Support the Luas Workers

Reprinted from

Turned a Rant Supporting the Luas Workers into a new blog piece after a little break

I genuinely understand why people are being played on with this case. It is a case of pay increases rather then resisting a firing, or a closure or an eviction or homelessness. It has the sympathy factor washed away. The problem is sympathy, the sort where we go ‘oh dear look at them poor people’, is not actually the best politics or the best basis for solidarity and collective action, it is dis-empowering and hierarchy creating.

What we really want, to start things off, to win basic demands here and now is at least 1) a universal floor, the idea that all people have value by what they do and b) the belief that collective action and groups standing together to fight for decency, proper pay, living or life itself is actually a good thing.

The propaganda is out to get us on this one, so here is the rant and best to all the striking workers on Thursday.

Support the Luas Workers on Paddy’s Day.

Many people earning feck all are trying to be turned against each other on this one. Lots of usual disinformation, 50% increase, nope sorry lads negotiation position for 5 next five years (now at 27%), lots of points focused and comparing the workers to others, and nothing looking at the profit of the company itself, lots trying to blame the workers when they took these measures causer the management wouldn’t negotiation, lots more genuinely snobbery, but they don’t have a degree therefore arn’t important (what decides important, surely a major transport system that gets 10,000s to where they are going is important… how and never,…. a few points to deal with

1) Tabloids are screaming “but you don’t earn that much and these Luas lads are showing you up.”

Yes most of use are earning feck all. What does that have to do with the Luas workers? They didn’t come put you on a job-bridge, cut the dole, hire you on a zero-hour contract or cut your pay. Companies did that, managers did that and governments did that.

Maybe the Luas lads are actually doing a good job or all of us? Fighting for decent wages, like we all should be. Using strikes and withdrawing their labour cause that’s the only thing that works.

2) “If I did that I would be fired”

Yea maybe that’s the problem, maybe no one should be just fired for fighting for the basic right to live and work in dignity. Maybe it shouldn’t be easy to just replace people with someone starving on the breadline. Maybe everyone should have decent work rather then being pitted against each other and maybe the action of the workers is what you should be thinking about. Join a Union, get organised and then they can’t just fire you

3) Luas workers are stupid monkeys just pulling levers.

This should be called for what it is snobbery. It is disheartening because it comes from many people earning feck all and being screwed with themselves, it also comes from genuine snobs who think they are simply worth more then these people.

What decides what is important in society, is a degree the measure of important work? If there were a million more accountants would it be more useful, are defined as more valuable because they have a degree because they wear a suit? Are other things that keep a country running valuable? Cleaners, maintenance, maybe even women who give birth to kids and don’t get paid for it, maybe even people who run vital transport? Is a arms dealer or investment banker more valuable? Are they even damaging?

Maybe we should be looking at value in society at a bit broader, or call it out as based on our bias and prejudice or maybe just maybe above all else all work has value, all labour has value, all efforts of getting up and doing something with your day have some value, as long as they don’t damage the lives of others

…………… Maybe instead of attacking Luas workers, we should stand with them and realised either we are already being kicked too and need something better or that after the Luas workers we will be next.

I know who my enemies are, who cut the wages of my family members, who forced me to emigrate and who chuck families out of homes every day and don’t bat an eye lid…. and they sure aren’t Luas Workers

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