Workplace

After Croke Park - Winning the Fight - Organising Together

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The massive vote by union members to reject the 'Croke Park Extension' proposals was a clear and unambiguous rejection of government attempts to impose yet another 1billion of austerity cuts on public service workers.  It was also a clear statement of opposition to the trade union leadership's decision to enter talks on the basis of these cuts in the first place.

After Croke Park: Defeating austerity - prepare to Strike to Win

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Public service workers proved in the Croke Park vote that we are capable of getting organised to defeat the careful plans of the government to make us swallow yet another round of cuts.  This despite the fact that the leadership of the two biggest public sector unions were working with the government in trying to get us to accept that plan.  And now they are in a panic because the No vote to Croke Park represents a massive refusal of their claim that austerity is the solution to the crisis.  Almost 300,000 workers have declared that Enough is Enough, add in our immediate families and this is probably quarter of the population.

This doesn't mean the fight is over, the No vote is only the start of defeating austerity.  Public Service Workers are not alone, 400,000 households have not registered for the Property Tax.  Across society ordinary working people are saying Enough, that is one of strengths.  We think we can beat any attempt to unilaterally oppose pay cuts around the points that follow

Teachers unions showing the way - ‘No’ vote only the start – build now for industrial action

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The decision of the 3 teacher unions to conduct a ballot for industrial action ups the ante in the battle against government attempts to impose a new round of paycuts on public sector workers.  The unions have announced a decision to “conduct a ballot of members for industrial action, up to and including strike action”, and that industrial action “will be triggered in the event of government proceeding unilaterally to impose salary cuts or to worsen working conditions.”

“The law is your shield, direct action is your sword” – Organising the Unorganised- audio & review

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The topic of this talk (audio link below) was on organising unions in non-unionised workplaces, and possibly re-invigorating places where unions are ostensibly still organised. Our labour market locally is increasingly casualised, de-skilled, and less well paid. “Flexible” arrangements between employer and employee are the current code word for the slashing of security of contract and the threat of relocation of capital. Unions have historically been the only means of lower paid workers countering trends like these, so the question as to how workers organise and fight back is coming back into focus more and more. This talk intended to address just that, and the speakers put forward arguments for an alternative to the top-down trade unionism that evidently isn’t working today.

 

Croke Park 2 voted down - Conflict with government now looming

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Government efforts to bully public sector workers into accepting further wage cuts and harsher working conditions have been decisively rejected today.  SIPTU, INMO and the INTO all announced that they had rejected the deal in votes today. The rejection by SIPTU members was the final nail in the coffin of the deal, the members voting against it despite the efforts of the leadership to force it through, the margin was narrow only a few percent but the INMO recorded a 95.5% rejection and in the INTO almost 70% voted against the agreement.

Four Public Service Unions will not be bound by ICTU vote

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Four unions have indicated today (Thursday) that they will not be bound by a majority vote by ICTU affiliated unions in favour of the new Croke Park agreement. The INMO, CPSU, IMO and Unite made this known after a meeting this morning which was also attended by representatives of the TUI, ASTI and AHCPS all of whom are advocating a rejection of the agreement.

The state of the unions - the legacy of 1913 and the trade union movement today

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Having spent the early part of this week at the annual conference of my union – the Irish National Teachers Organisation – I’m struck by the view that unions today appear to be a different world entirely from that of 100 years ago.  My talk will focus less on 1913 and more on where the trade union movement finds itself today

Exploring the Lessons of the 1913 Lockout and its Legacy for Today - DABF 2013

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2013 marks the 100th anniversary of what many see as the most significant industrial dispute ever to have taken place in Ireland - the Dublin Lockout. The employers of Dublin, led by William Martin Murphy, locked out over 20,000 workers in an attempt to starve them into submission and to smash the increasingly popular Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU).

Defeating Croke Park 2 – Every Vote Counts

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An analysis of the voting results on the first Croke Park Agreement shows that the votes of a few hundred union members in a couple of unions could decide the fate of the ‘Croke Park Extension’ deal currently being voted on by union members. Because of the bizarre - and rather anti-democratic - system of voting at the public services committee of the ICTU, a small margin in favour or against the deal in any particular union swings all the votes of that union either for or against. 

The Human Cost of Cuts to Public Services - Thoughts of a Public Sector Worker

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The following text was sent to us by a reader who works in a social welfare office. It illustrates just one aspect of the human cost of the Croke Park agreement and of the furhter deterioration that will occur under the "extension", if it is passed. 

Life in a social welfare office can be heartbreaking sometimes. Sitting there, behind the glass, you have a very limited range of available responses available to a broad expanse of problems. As the crisis deepens, people’s problems become more serious and varied and our responses and the time available to respond narrow.  

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