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. […]

Why have the Luas workers rejected the deal?

Let’s hear from the workers themselves as to why they rejected the deal. Watch this short 2 minute video. Thanks to Trade Union TV for this.

Q3 see’s a calming of industrial action

The CSO has published its figures for industrial in the third economic quarter of the year which shows zero days lost to industrial action (their choice of words). There were no disputes and no days of industrial action in Q3. This followed 32,848 days, 7 disputes and 6 employers, in Q1 and Q2 of this year. 73% of these days lost were in the education sector involving the Governments proposed junior certificate reform. It is the first quarter since Q4 of 2012 to have zero days. While the Q4 numbers are not out we can expect a significant increase given the […]

Dunnes Strike a seminal moment for the Irish trade union movement

100 years ago workers would wait by the docks of Dublin in the hope that some captain of industry would pick them for a days work. In many instances their selection was the only thing keeping them and their families from going hungry, which in turn ensured a compliant workforce. Join the union, make a complaint about health and safety, or look at the boss in the wrong way and the employer could remove your ability to feed or clothe your family or heat your home. This Thursday, Dunnes Stores workers will strike against the very same constraints and mechanisms […]

Union Action on Increase

The Total Days Lost due to Industrial Stoppages, a CSO record, significantly increased last year. The total days out last year was 44,015 compared to just 14,965 in 2013. The teachers strike at the end of last year having the most significant impact but also the Greyhound dispute and action in the manufacturing sector. There is no doubt that union members, workers and communities are becoming more class conscious. Solidarity across communities and struggles is also on the up. Both the right2water campaign and opposition to water charges/meters as well as the upcoming Dunnes dispute have shown the increasing militancy […]

The strike is the key to union renewal and working class power

Reviving the strike – How working people can regain power and transform America By Joe Burns Available on pdf at http://www.tuleftforum.com/discussion-papers/ and for purchase at http://www.revivingthestrike.org/ Striking to stop production This is a must-read book for trade unionists and left activists. Though it deals mainly with the American labour movement and conditions there, its main points and recommendations easily apply in Ireland. The author, Joe Burns, is a union lawyer, negotiator and activist for many decades, most recently involved in the airline industry and health services. He is adamant that the movement needs to return to the strike as the […]

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 […]