TULF May Day Statement – Solidarity is alive in our class

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 fighting together. This is an example we should develop and use in other struggles like housing and healthcare.

On this day we also have to highlight the union members and their unions fighting in Luas, Tesco and the 999 call centre services. SIPTU, Mandate and CWU members are engaged in difficult but important struggles. Workers expectations are raised, rightly, and so our demands are greater. Unions must support and back their members in these demands and continue to advance the basic working conditions of members.

However, all Unions must learn from the right2water Unions and the example they have set in taking on, and investing significant resources in, a major social issue of the day, water. Trade Unions should not be limited to pay and terms and conditions but must actively fight for a different social-economic and political vision for Ireland. That vision, in the context of environment devastation and the reality of what the EU is (as opposed to what people might want it to be) is the vision of an Irish Socialist Republic independent from the EU and with sovereign power to take decisions contrary to needs of US and corporate capitalist interests here, or it is of no value to our class.

This pending, but coming, win on water gives us strength and hope. We have achieved something significant. Hundreds of thousands of workers achieved it. Not a party, not a union, not a leader. We did, together. And this is what gives meaning to the word solidarity and gives us the strength to achieve more.