Listening to Morning Ireland on regime radio on the 7th of November we were surprised to hear the word lock out used only in the context of pupils being locked out of schools. The term has been carefully avoided when it comes to the teachers locked out by their employers.]
Thousands of teachers are locked out of their place of work that morning despite turning up as normal. The ASTI twitter account has sent many photos of teachers standing outside closed schools around the country, some 60% of secondary schools are closed.
The shutdown of Dublin bus services begins prematurely at 21.00 tonight thanks to management's refusal to trust the workers to wind down the service ahead of tomorrows two day strike, the first of three scheduled. As our name suggests Solidarity Times stands in solidarity with the bus workers, just as we were in solidarity with the LUAS strikes.
In both strikes a media looking for angles to attack the workers on choose the relative size of the pay claims they were making. 21% sounds big but the period covered, 2008 to 2019, is actually 11 years. But workers in Dublin need big pay increases and contrary to what RTE might tell you this isn’t a bad thing for most of us, quite the opposite.
Our solidarity to Cadburys workers who today begin an indefinite strike at the Coolock plant against the outsourcing of jobs. The company is trying to destroy 17 properly paid and pensionable jobs to replace them with minimum wage ones.
Our solidarity today to the LUAS workers striking for decent pay rates. The crisis was used by the government and capitalist class to drive down wages and ensure that a bigger share of profits went to shareholders. The LUAS fight is a fight for all of us as a victory should be a green light to all workers to demand pay rises, including the recovery of the money lost in the cuts imposed under the crisis. Across the world the share of income that goes to the richest 1% has soared while that going tooth rest of us has been slashed, we need to fight to reverse this.
After proclaiming that Britain rejected Labour because it was too left-wing, as smugly asserted as it was false, the right-wing media happily praised George Osborne’s first all-Tory budget and its attempt to steal Labour’s clothes. The Tories are proclaiming themselves the real workers party while simultaneously subjecting actual workers to new restrictions on our ability to organise and defend our interests and reducing their income. They think that re-branding the Minimum Wage the "National Living Wage" will fool enough people.
Friday June 12ths shock closure of the iconic Clery’s department store in Dublin shows how the law is set up to favour capital and screw workers. Workers are being told there may be no additional redundancy or owed holiday payments as the company is in debt. But this is only the case because right before the closure the largest asset, the building itself, was separated off from the accumulated debts. This was almost certainly legal under our system but of such obvious dubious morality that the workers could expect massive popular support if they occupied the building on a permanent ongoing basis.
I was part of a long education and discussion process that culminated in this new position paper on "Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation" being agreed by WSM National Conference at the start of October 2014.
Minister Frances Fitzgerald claimed to be shocked at reports that some women in direct provision centres felt compelled into sex work by the poverty they are kept in. How can that be, its Minister Frances Fitzgerald who actually operates this direct provision system that creates such circumstances.
As the Minister she does not allow asylum seekers to work, leaving them to exist on €19.10 per week, often for periods measured in years. Who can imagine living month after month with such a minuscule amount of spending money? And while she now wants to suggest she has concern for such women the reality is that she is the one who signs deportation orders, orders which will very often send the same women to very much more difficult circumstances.
It is no great surprise that the SIPTU NEC have recommended acceptance of Croke Park II. But in their statement they admit far more than the should have and point not only to why it should be rejected but also what is needed to win. That is the willingness to threaten effective industrial action aimed at bringing down the government if they attempt to impose Croke Park II after we vote no.
The government says if we Vote no to Croke Park they will impose it anyway. Many of the union leadership try and scare us into voting Yes with this threat and by saying the only alternative is strike action. Both are right. If we just vote no than the government will attack us. And when they do the only way we can win is if we are willing to fight back - that will mean industrial action. It will almost certainly mean at least the credible threat of an indefinite strike.