Belfast: Direct action gets the goods!


Following three successful pickets of Delaney’s restaurant in Belfast sacked worker Dasa Kacova has won all her demands and been offered her job back.The young Slovakian worker was sacked on the spot from Delaney’s restaurant for asking why she had to remove her jumper at work on a cold January day. Delaney’s owners refused to meet with the worker or with her trade union representative. As a result pickets were organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Belfast Trades Council and were supported by a wide range of trade union and political activists including members of Organise! and the WSM.

ICTU state that they will expose and challenge the mistreatment of workers and in particular migrant workers who are among the most vulnerable in our society. “It is unacceptable in this day and age that employers can still mistreat workers in this way”. It’s called capitalism!

The pickets met with a very positive response from the public. Even the random sample of the public who spoke to the pickets produced several first hand testimonies of Delaneys’ management’s mistreatment of workers going back years. Two former Communication Workers’ Union members who now work at Delaney’s walked off the job to join the picket. One passing schoolgirl when told of the jumper incident remarked, “God, its just like being at school!”

On Saturday March 8th someone turns up at the picket calling us “Commie bastards” and starts pushing his way through. At first everyone thought he knew someone on the picket and was having a laugh. It turned out to be Mr. Delaney himself. He then called the police. It turned out to be all hot air. After about an hour of negotiations he agreed to all of the demands to reinstate Dasa immediately, reimburse her for loss of earnings, pay her outstanding holiday entitlements and to treat all workers fairly.

Understandably she did not wish to return to work under him again and agreed to a financial settlement.

We will continue to assist in building a culture of resistance and solidarity in the workplace. The first thing for everyone to do is join a union, our strength lies in a united workforce able to stand up to the bosses. Our best weapon is solidarity.

Published on and from Workers Solidarity 103

This article is from Workers Solidarity 103, May - June 2008

PDF of the southern edition of WS103
PDF of northern edition of WS103