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 […]

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 […]

TULF submission to right2water

TULF submission to the Right2Water

The Trade Union Left Forum submitted our thoughts to right2water on the proposals for a policy document for a progressive Irish Government, as did many other groups. The number of submissions is a good indication of both the breadth of the right2water movement and the depth of the politics of those individuals and groups involved. Both are clear strengths of the movement and unity amongst all these people and groups should be maintained. There is strength in unity and weakness comes from division. The full TULF submission is available on the website here http://www.tuleftforum.com/resources/discussion-papers/ “The reference to the Democratic Programme […]

May 1 Right2Water Conference

Below is a brief overview of the recent right2water conference for those that were not in attendance. A range of issues could be discussed but these are simply what we felt are the key points. The Conference On May 1st, the traditional day of workers celebration and mass action, a function room in the head office of the Communication Workers Union in Dublin was filled with 180 guests for a day of presentations and discussion. The Right2Water Campaign, an important component of a much larger mass movement fighting water charges, called a conference entitled A Platform for Renewal. As a […]

Class-consciousness is increasing

The Right2Water campaign and communities from all over the country last week held their third massive national mobilisation within a few months, and the message was clear: people won’t be bullied or bribed, and they see through government lies and propaganda. The recent retreat by the government is not enough, and is not accepted by the people. The government has lost the Irish Water issue and has no popular mandate. The view of hundreds of thousands of people and families is irrefutable; the government does not have our support to govern. Last week’s protest followed an intensification of violence, supervision […]

Rejecting the slurs and seizing the moment

In recent weeks we have seen a concerted and co-ordinated effort by the Government, the Gardaí and the media to paint protesters as dangerous and violent, with an agenda of manipulating communities into confrontation for the sake of confrontation. This is a deliberate and outrageous misrepresentation of protesters and communities that are opposing Irish Water, the installation of meters, and water charges more generally. It is insulting to our class and shows the contempt in which the establishment hold us. Reports of violence against Irish Water employees and gardaí are spun and widely commented on without a shred of evidence. […]

Water charges the EU and TTIP!

The origin of the planned water charges lies in the EU’s Water Framework Directive (2000), which provided for full cost recovery for water use and whose Article 9 states; ‘Member States shall take account of the principle of recovery of the costs of water services …’ It also required Member States to have in place water-pricing policies by 2010. The Directive was transposed into Irish Law in 2003. The Water Framework Directive, which seeks to commodify water provision through the establishment of the principle of recovery of the costs of water services. The EU took advantage of the ‘bailout’ to […]

Real trade unionism in action – right2water

The type of class-conscious and politically active trade unionism that the Trade Union Left Forum has advocated at many of its meetings, and in its publications, is truly on display and being built in the Right2Water campaign. The 1st November saw the second national protest against the water charges and the potential privatisation of what should be a guaranteed, universally available public resource. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 people took part. This follows the 100,000 who marched on 11th October as well as the daily militant class struggle being fought in communities throughout the country, led in […]

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 […]