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 […]

Unlocking the potential of trade unions for working people

TULF submission to the Right2Water

Overcoming common misunderstandings about trade unions There are some common misunderstandings about unions that fall wide of the mark and lead to a lot of confusion; and some of this comes from within the movement itself and is given life by some unions’ language and actions. For example, a union is an insurance policy for workers when something goes wrong at work; it’s a professional representative body; it’s an interest group . . . These are all common answers to the question “What are trade unions?” but none are right. Trade unions are the collective and pooled effort and resources of working […]

Irish trade unionism and the end of Civil War politics?

By Sean Byers, delivered at the TULF meeting a political strategy for the trade union movement. In December 2015, as the Right2Water campaign continued to confound its opponents with mass demonstrations attracting upwards of 100,000 people, former Taoiseach John Bruton made this revealing statement to the Irish media: FG and FF have complemented each other through Irish history. In Ireland we have had consensus about major long-term policies largely because we haven’t had a sharp left/right or ideological divide. We have had differences, but they are differences about other things, not economics, and that has served the country very well… […]

A Trade Union Strategy to Win for Working People

Speech at the Mother Jones Festival, Cork by SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, on Thursday, 28th July, 2016 Comrades and friends, This year’s Mother Jones Festival takes place against the background of the continuing trauma of the most serious crisis in global capitalism since the 1930s. It is important to say from the outset that this is a demand side crisis largely attributable to exponentially growing inequality in what we know as the “developed world”. The phenomenon manifests itself in the world of work or the “labour market” in the form of mass unemployment, increasing precariousness and social insecurity on […]

Important outcome from Labour Court

The Labour Court has issued an important outcome for Freshway workers in a case taken by SIPTU under the new legislation. On the question of evidencing union membership Joe O’Flynn, General Secretary of SIPTU, swore an affidavit in advance of the hearing to the effect that 63 of 170 workers were union members. The Court viewed this, 37%, as ‘not insignificant’ and passing the first barrier. The Company argued that they collectively bargain with an internal staff consultation committee but the Court found that it wasn’t an excepted body and that the practice was not collective bargaining as defined by […]

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.

SIPTU Statement on Luas strike

SIPTU defers Luas strike action on St Patrick’s Day to consider WRC proposals Date Released: 16 March 2016 SIPTU members working on the Luas light rail network have deferred a work stoppage scheduled for tomorrow (17th March) following talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) which have resulted in proposals to resolve the dispute for three out of four grades of workers. SIPTU Organiser, John Murphy, said: “In talks lasting close to 28 hours with the employer, Transdev, at the WRC, we have made substantial progress. The WRC has produced proposals that it believes are the best achievable in relation […]

Support the Luas Workers

Reprinted from https://radicalwhispers.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/support-for-the-luas-workers/ 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 […]

What happened the opposition to sell-off?

The sale of the State’s remaining stake in Aer Lingus marks the low point, so far, in the labour movement’s capitulation to neo-liberalism and move away from even a semblance of social-democratic politics, never mind socialism. Although only 25.1% of the once publically-owned national airline remained in State hands until yesterday’s Dáil vote to sell it to the international conglomerate IAG, it did still maintain a degree a democratic influence on the key transport company. The selloff of this profitable state asset has been accompanied by far-fetched tales. These include the claim that Dublin Airport, based on an island with […]

Tom Redmond: Working class hero

The Trade Union Left Forum wishes to salute and honour the life of Tom Redmond who passed away yesterday. Tom was a committed and passionate trade unionist, republican and communist. He embodied the living spirit of Marxism in both his activity and in his writings and thinking. He would always challenge himself and others to take on board new experiences and revaluate the old in light of the new. Active throughout his life in both Ireland and Britain he was an activist in SIPTU, the Communist Party of Ireland and most recently the Trade Union Left Forum, amongst many other […]