Dublin honours anti-apartheid strikers


In 1984 ten young women and one young man, members of MANDATE trade union, started a long strike at Dunnes Stores in Dublin's Henry Street. They walked the picket line in support of their union's policy of solidarity with the anti-apartheid struggle and boycotting South African products.

It only ended when the government agreed to ban the import of South African fruit & veg until the apartheid regime was overthrown.Dublin City Council is erecting a plaque outside Dunnes on Henry Street to honour the strikers who played a significant role in the anti-apartheid struggle. This will be on Monday, June 30th at 8am (yes, 8am!)

The dispute started when Mary Manning, a 21 year old cashier, courageously refused to handle fruit from apartheid-era South Africa. Mary and her colleagues became a household name in South Africa (and across the world).

As Deputy Mayor Anne Carter commented "It is astonishing that there is a street named after Mary in Johannesburg but that she and her colleagues have received so little recognition for their brave stance in their own home city of Dublin where the strike actually took place."

Joe King of the WSM said "The young workers who walked out the door in 1984 are a great example of committed trade unionism and international workers' solidarity. It is people like these who are real heroes and it is important that we remember their courage, determination and success."

Members of the WSM were very active in support of the strikers throughout 1984 & 1985, and will be represented at the unveiling