Worker militancy on the rise

A wave of workplace militancy has arisen in recent months which has produced a number of notable victories for trade unionists. The end of several years of muted opposition from workers to cuts to conditions and pay or doing more work without improvements in earnings – under the cover of ‘increased efficiencies’ – can be traced back to the industrial action by SIPTU members in LUAS in the early 2016. This protracted and bitter struggle resulted in a substantial pay increase for LUAS drivers, with the victory achieved in the face of unrelenting media attack. The win set a precedent […]

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 […]

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 […]

A new kind of trade unionism emerging

A new kind of trade unionism is emerging and consolidating itself within the right2water campaign, led by Mandate and Unite and supported by OPATSI, the CPSU, and the CWU. These unions are bringing the broader social and economic interests of their members to the fore and committing resources, time and effort to support mobilisation not only of members, but also the working class and communities more generally. By viewing their members as workers (as opposed to people paying a subscription for work-place representation services) these unions are placing the workers’ immediate social demands alongside, and equal to, their immediate work-place […]