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.
300,000 public service workers may shortly be forced to strike, something that may very well transform the potential for radical politics in Ireland. The purpose of this Open Letter is to provide information for activists who are not working in Public Services in order to explain the importance of the No vote to Croke Park. It is important in terms of the general struggle against austerity and we want to suggest some ways you can help make sure this fight is won, in particular by coming to a discussion of just that on Wednesday 8th May at 7.30 in the Teachers Club. (RSVP on Facebook)
In the region of 2,500 people took part in Saturday's Dublin Council of Trade Unions demonstration in Dublin. Although this made it the biggest anti-austerity demonstration in the city since the massive ICTU demonstration of last year the small number attending was a wake up call for anyone on the left or in the unions who is optimistic about significant resistance to the crisis emerging in the short term.
As part of our agitation in the student protests, anarchists have raised the necessity of direct action such as occupations. This has a wider application than students and anarchists have long argued that as part of any social revolution workers would need to occupy their workplaces.
Some 300,000 workers in Ireland should be watching the Labour Court as it rules on the attempt by the Davenport Hotel, owned by the 122nd richest person in the country, to cut the wages of workers by almost a euro an hour. Five workers there were removed from the payroll after they refused to sign new contracts that contained the wage cut. When they picketed the hotel it got an injunction that sought to limit how many could picket at a time and which forbid supporters from the picket line.
In the aftermath of the summit protests many on the libertarian left followed a set of tactics which concentrated on marginal workers in insecure employment. From the strategic point of view, it would seem to make more sense to imagine a wave of organization that starts with workers who are concentrated into larger workplaces and whose strikes have some real social power.
On the cancellation of the Dec 3rd strike and the disasterous ICTU negotiating position
The cancellation of the Dec 3rd Public Sector strike is a blow to the developing movement against the cuts on the scale of the cancellation of the March 30th strike at the start of the year. The so called compromise ICTU have been negotiating for is a further blow, it seems designed to drive a wedge between workers and fails to answer the main problem public sector workers have, the inability to take further cuts. But the strike that did happen on 24th November has brought 250,000 workers into their first experience of the power we collectively hold and points towards an alternative.
On the 24th of November something extraordinary happened. Some 250,000 workers acted together in a day-long strike against the public sector wage cuts planned by the government. The vast majority of these workers had never gone on strike before, yet across almost all workplaces the strike involved 90% or more of those working.
Number of strike days each year - the 2009 is just for
Thursdays strike, in fact the final figure would include the
many small disputes that have gone on this year
In the latest round of attacks on ordinary workers in order to force us to pay for the crisis in capitalism the government had "declared a moratorium on Recruitment and Promotions in the Public Service with effect from 27th March". This is both yet another direct attack on public sector workers and an indirect attack on all workers as it means our access to health, education and other essential services will be further reduced.