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… […]

ICTU President Brian Campfield at the SF Ard Fheis

I wish to thank Sinn Fein for providing the opportunity to address this Ard Fheis on behalf the Irish trade union movement. It is of course an historic year during which we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising and the trade unions, generally, if not universally, take great pride in the role played by James Connolly and the Irish Citizen Army  in the Rising. I say generally because trades unions are also victims of the divisions in our country and in the interests of working class and trade union unity we have had to adopt a nuanced […]

Stop · Halt · Arrêtez · Στάση · Stad TTIP

Stop TTIP

Many trade unions are calling for CETA, the Canadian-European trade agreement, and TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, to be stopped and scrapped; and here is why. In summary the concern of ICTU is that TTIP is a manifestation of an aggressive neo-liberalism aimed at so circumscribing the policy space for governments that policies will be separated from economics such that it will not matter what government is elected. It will, in other words, complete the subjugation of society to markets. Moreover, this issue has to be seen in the context of a European integration project which has lost […]

TTIP 2015 Updated Booklet

Stop TTIP

This updated booklet from John Hillary of War on Want is an excellent analysis and exposition of TTIP and the affect it will have on jobs, workers, the environment, regulations and much more. TTIP booklet 2015 update The booklet covers topics like: transparency and lack of democracy jobs and employment deregulation privatisation investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms (ISDS) food safety environmental impact Well worth reading in advance of #GE16 so you can challenge candidates on the door and at the supermarket as they canvas you for their vote. But don’t just read it get involved: 1 – write to your Union […]

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 […]

ICTU on TTIP

Trade unionists must take a principled position opposing the TTIP between the US and EU. It is an anti-democratic treaty that will enhance corporate power, reduce regulations, provide for further privatisation and intensify the ongoing race to the bottom in workers rights, wages and protections. The ICTU has produced an overview document available at http://www.ictu.ie/publications/fulllist/congress-sub-to-public-consultation-on-modalities-for-investment-protection-and-isds-in-ttip/ and their initial overview is below. While this is welcome trade unions need to coordinate a campaign with environmental groups, 3rd world justice groups and communities to mount a serious opposition. TULF activists are now working with other groups to establish this. We call on ICTU […]

European Commission rejects a citizens’ petition against the EU-US trade deal (TTIP)

The European Commission has today rejected a proposal from an alliance of European campaigners to hold a ‘European Citizens’ Initiative’ against the EU-US and EU-Canada trade deals (known as TTIP and CETA). This decision prevents citizens from forcing the Commission to review its policy on the deals and to hold a hearing in the European parliament. Negotiations on TTIP and CETA deal have provoked strong opposition across Europe, the US and Canada. Campaigners fear these treaties will give unprecedented power to multinational corporations, risking privatisation of public services and dilution of environmental standards and workers’ rights. To express this opposition, […]

British Unions likely to oppose TTIP

Three of the UK’s biggest unions have tabled motions at the Trade Union Congress in Liverpool outlining their opposition to the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), a huge trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors at the European commission between EU bureaucrats and delegates from the US. Critics say the TTIP threatens to make the outsourcing of health services in Britain permanent by allowing US multinationals, or any firm with American investors, to sue any future UK government if it attempts to take privatised health services back into public ownership, jeopardising their profits. Critics say it will also water […]

TTIP must be stopped – Unite the Union

Welcoming the launch of a People’s Movement information booklet on the proposed EU – US ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ (TTIP), Unite Regional Secretary jimmy Kelly today (Sunday September 7th) said that the job creation claims advanced by the treaty’s proponents do not stack up, and he warned that workers’ and citizens’ rights would take a backseat to corporate interests. “It’s no wonder that there is a veil of secrecy over this treaty:  its advocates, both in the US and in the EU, know that citizens would not tolerate its proposed provisions. “We all remember when the Government asked us […]

TULF on TTIP

A TULF Fact Sheet on TTIP is available on this website below is a brief summary of the issues involved. The TTIP are a set of negotiations between European capital and American capital (which willingly agree on most things) in response to the shift in growth from the north to the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Real growth has stagnated for decades in both continents, giving rise to the dominance of financial speculation and a shadow banking system, and this is a further attempt to create growth at the expense of people and our environment. It seeks […]