Trade Union Left Forum May Day Statement:

Trade Union Left Forum May Day Statement:

Today May 1st marks international workers day we take this opportunity to salute workers in struggle all around the world. We particularly salute all frontline workers who have been the backbone of the world in overcoming the health pandemic. It is frontline workers be they in the Health Service, manufacturing, retail or transport etc. that have led the fight against the virus. For this we salute you all. Governments none more so than our own, have bungled their way through the pandemic with failed strategies,  slow rollout of vaccine, under funding public health, & putting businesses interests first, by reopening too soon etc.

If Covid-19 was a stress test on political and economic systems globally, Capitalism has failed that test abysmally and has been shown to be morally bankrupt.

Workers now face a series of crises unparalleled in our history, a health pandemic, an environmental catastrophe, poverty and staggering wealth inequality coupled with a lack of workers’ rights. The corporate influence over media and government consistently support the interests of the wealthy and powerful over ordinary working people. We have also  witnessed last month the most vicious attacks on striking workers at Debenhams in Dublin, probably since the 1913 lockout. These attacks on workers were made possible by the state, through the courts, legislation and protected by the Gardaí. This attack on workers was buried and largely kept out of the media. The trade unions were conspicuous by their absence, restricted by the 1990 Industrial Relations Act, yes, but that would not stop leading individuals coming down in a personal capacity to support the workers without breaching the act.

The 1990 Industrial Relations Act must be abolished to put workers in charge of industrial action not the judiciary but more importantly to stop many within the trade union movement from hiding behind it.

The Trade Union movement is at an all time low in membership density, morale and  militancy. Serious questions need to be asked in relation to the role and the future direction of the trade union movement.

Unions must get radical or they will become redundant.