Economy

The Celtic Tiger - Is This As Good As It Gets? - overview from 1999

Date:

The Celtic Tiger is special. It differs from our European neighbours in a number of ways. Firstly, since 1993 it has had an average annual growth rate greater than 8%, that makes it one of the fastest growing economies in the western world. Secondly, while in Europe employment in manufacturing has decreased, in Ireland it has to proved to be one of the main areas of growth. Employment growth is double that of the US and four times that of the EU. The economy is growing, more people are in work.Where has this economic success come from? Much of it is due to the Tiger's ability to attract foreign investment. In the last two decades the amount of money available for global production has multiplied. In 1996 it was estimated that $3,200 billion was available for foreign direct investment. This is the money that the Celtic Tiger has been eager to attract. Ireland has received 40% of all American investment in European electronics since 1980.

That's Capitalism: Workers Solidarity #55 1998

Date:

A man who saved two co-workers from an explosion and fire in Nike's Garuda factory in Indonesia and who suffered extensive burns in the process was fired for his efforts. Instead of a hero's welcome, Mr. Kusnadi received a reprimand when he returned to the plant after hospitalization. The supervisor told him "it's not our business if you try to help your friends".

Mayday letter from the new unemployed network

Date:

Dear friends,

A meeting took place in Portlaoise, on July 8th, attended by people concerned at recent statements by Ms Mary Harney, Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise & Employment. It called for a campaign to defend welfare rights and oppose the low wage strategy of recent governments.

Corruption ...it's business as usual

Date:

Recent months have seen the banking and financial sectors in Ireland coming under scrutiny as never before. On the one hand there have been allegations of offshore accounts designed to dodge tax being set up for favoured customers and of money being illegally taken from people's accounts through various guises such as charging interest and bank charges not actually due.

Planes, trains and automobiles....

Date:

"Are ya right there Michael, are ya right? Do ya think that we'll be home before the night? Well it all depends on whether, the old engine holds together. And it might now Michael sure it might."
(Percy French song)

Well, we all know the story by now. The Celtic Tiger leaping and bounding, an expanding economy and a rising tide that lifts all boats. Regular readers of Workers Solidarity might take all this with a grain of salt, and they would be right.

Now that's what we call a rip-off

Date:

AFTER THE SCANDALS of Ray Burke, Greencore, the Telecom site, National Irish Bank, the Ben Dunne money, Michael Lowry, the Beef Tribunal, etc., it was inevitable that bosses north of the border would also be caught with their greasy fingers in the till. And there is nowhere better to catch them than at Belfast International Airport.

The airport was privatised by the British government back in 1994. The recent report, by an all-party committee of Westminster politicians, about how it was done makes for interesting reading.

What a wonderful world we live in!

Date:

IF EVER YOU'VE felt doubts about why you are so against the capitalist system, just read the latest United Nations Human Development Report (or at least the media synopsis of it - see Irish Times 9/9/98). You may have known that there is inequality in the world, that the rich always seem to look after themselves and the poor just simply get poorer all the time. But are you aware of just how unequal the distribution of wealth actually is? Even for a battle-hardened campaigner against inequality and injustice like myself, the figures are quite horrifying.

That's Capitalism: Workers Solidarity #54 1998

Date:

'Social partnership' gets better and better. In 1987 the lowest paid tenth of the workforce paid 3.14% of their earnings in direct taxation. By 1995 this had risen to 11%.1

*****

In Dublin, Mexican ex-president Carlos Salinas was quizzed by French officials over drugs money linked to his brother, but an Irish judge ordered a media blackout on the case - which was obeyed by all the papers.2

*****

Business as usual for the Robber Bankers

Date:

National Irish Bank used to have an advertising slogan which said "We're different because we care". Following recent revelations about tax-dodging offshore accounts and their robbing of money from customers' accounts, perhaps they should change it to "We're different because we got caught". Or maybe even "We're not different at all because we care (about our profits)".

Scrooge bosses named

Date:

Workers Solidarity reporter Joe King spent a couple of hours each month up to last Christmas tracking down the bosses who pay a pittance. Giving himself a good Leaving Certificate, some shop and restaurant experience and a false name he set about answering advertisements, phoning personnel officers and going to interviews. He did his job hunting in Dublin. The story in other cities and towns is, if anything, even worse.

Syndicate content