Workplace

Household Tax: Union Branches support 'Don't Register, Don't Pay' campaign

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2 branches of the INTO (Irish National Teachers Organisation) - Dublin North City and Gorey Co. Wexford - have passed a motion condemning the Household tax and supporting the campaign of non-registration and non-payment  at their Annual General Meetings.  

 

The motion further calls on the CEC (Central Executive Committee) of the union to “support in any way possible INTO members who are victimised for refusing to register for or pay this tax.”

 

The public sector workers strike in NI - Organise for a General strike

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Up to 200,000 public sector workers took part in the largest one-day industrial action in Northern Ireland in decades along with millions across the UK, demonstrating that when we withdraw our labour and stand together in defence of our rights we have real strength. Belfast was a sea of red and colourful rainbow coalition trade union flags for a change, as up to 15,000 workers rallied outside the city hall against the cuts and attacks on pensions. From the early morning, picket lines  involving public sector workers from transport workers to teachers dotted the city’s landscape in a show of unity.

Cork: Hundreds Turn Out to Support Vita Cortex Workers

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Factory-gate rally draws large support ahead of LRC talks next week

 

This afternoon, the workers of Vita Cortex in Cork accompanied by several hundred supporters attended a rally at the factory gates on Kinsale Road, which was organised by the Cork Council of Trade Unions. Among the attendance showing their support for the Vita Cortex workers were several former staff from the La Senza lingerie store chain, who themselves were in dispute with the liquidator of their former employer KPMG until this Friday. They were made feel very welcome by the crowd, and the speakers from the impromptu platform in the factory carpark drew inspiration in their speeches from the result achieved by the La Senza workers who were in a similar situation to that facing the 32 Vita Cortex employees. The platform was compered by Pat Guilfoyle of the TEEU, and other speakers were Vita Cortex shop steward Seán Kelleher, president of Cork Council of Trade Unions Ann Piggott, and Joe O'Flynn, general secretary of SIPTU and Cork native. Mr. O'Flynn spoke of the efforts being made by SIPTU headquarters in pursuit of a resolution of this situation, and he castigated runaway employer Jack Ronan for refusing to pay the €1.2m owed to his former employees, a sum described by Mr. O'Flynn as 'not a king's ransom'. He also spoke of the union's determination to support the Vita Cortex workers in their dispute 'for the long haul, if it takes 30 days or 30 weeks, with the support of trade union members across the country'. The rally ended with a long peal of applause as the names of all 32 Vita Cortex workers were read out from the podium.

CCTU Unemployed Centre, Vita Cortex and a NAMA building - Cork's three occupations

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Three occupations in Cork highlight the ideas of direct action, self-organisation and solidarity

 

At a time when Ireland's rich class and their government are relying on passivity and apathy from the country's working class to push through their austerity agenda with the minimum of resistance, the presence of three separate occupations of workplaces and vacant NAMA commercial property in Cork is a hopeful sign that 'the powers that be' are not going to have it all their own way, as they attempt to make everyone else pick up the tab for the economic carnage their actions have unleashed upon this society. Although each occupation is separate and different in origin and potential outcome, each one shows that people do understand the necessity and the effectiveness of direct action in this time when bosses and property owners are trying every trick in the book to slough off their debts and evade public accountability while doing so.

Vita Cortex Workers Rally at the Dáil

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About 150 people rallied at the Dail Thursday lunchtime in support of the Vita Cortex Workers.  According to SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Gerry McCormack, “the Vita Cortex workers have shown enormous courage in making the stance they made.  They are tolerating appalling conditions in terms of sleeping on foam on the ground at night, in what might be described as a large shed, and are fully determined to stay until this employer engages in a meaningful way to resolve this issue. The new owners of the company borrowed millions of euro from AIB to buy out previous shareholders and used the company assets as collateral against those loans.  They gambled with our members’ jobs and livelihoods to gain control over a valuable site in Cork. The Vita Cortex workers securing their rightful redundancy entitlements is a cause which should be supported by all trade unionists and those who believe in the just and fair settlement of industrial disputes. Failure to win this struggle will amount to a massive defeat for all those fighting against the race to the bottom; it will not be allowed happen.”

Interview with Na Croisbhealai workers co-operative - organising without bosses in Belfast

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Na Croisbhealai workers-co-op is the latest centre to emerge in Belfast along with the Warzone centre providing a practical example of workers self-management in action. Located in the city centre the café offers a space to organise and agitate under every shade of the political left, and a delicious international cuisine from all corners of the globe courtesy of its chef Hugh Corcoran. In the same building is Fresh Claim photography hosting a range of impressive photos and colourful portraits from conflict zones across the world including the recent troubles in Ireland.  Below is an interview with Jack Corcoran from the collective who talks about how it organises without bosses and its role in building a better society for all.

Vita Cortex Workers continue occupation

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Workers are continuing their occupation of the Vita Cortex plant in Cork city today.  The workers began their sit in on Friday, the day the doors were due to close.  The workers are protesting over the non-payment of redundancy monies due.  With over 800 years service between them there is an outstanding entitlement to €1.2m in redundancy payments.  The reason given for the non-payment is a stand off between the company and NAMA.  The money is in accounts of a sister firm frozen by NAMA.

Independent Workers Union hold successful benefit in Belfast

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Up to 100 people attended a benefit organised by the Independent Workers Union in Belfast last Thursday. Members and supporters listened to a passionate speech given by IWU organiser Tommy McKearney at the Na Croisbhealai workers café on the need to organise in our workplaces’ and build an alternative to the rotten neo-liberal model being imposed on us. Tommy gave a similar talk at the workers co-operative in Octoberand can be viewed here.

Pensioner takes direct action to open up Transport House for homeless

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Saturday night pensioner Francis Morgan began tearing down the wooden boarding at the disused Transport House union building in Belfast city centre to demand rights for homeless people.

'I am a Belfast man born and bred and I want to bring the heart back into the city. I want to open this building as a shelterter for the homeless until the end of March.... this union building belongs to its members and I am calling on them to give this building for the homeless,' he told the Irish News.

N30 strike round up for northern Ireland

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Biggest rally in decades outside Belfast city hall Up to 200,000 public sector workers took part in the one day industrial action across Northern Ireland along with millions in the rest of the UK. Trains and buses were halted along with about 400 schools being closed with Irish Congress of Trade Unions assistant general secretary Peter Bunting predicting at the rally that ‘people are going away more determined to oppose the cuts coming down the line.’

 

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