An initial reaction to the ICTU announcement that March 30 is off
That the very threat of a national strike was enough to force government and IBEC (Irish employers organisation) to change their position demonstrates the power the working class holds when we threaten to withdraw our labor. For all the media attempts to convince us we are powerless and that class struggle is a thing of the past when faced with the reality of the organised working class standing up both bosses and state were keen to avoid any confrontation that could illustrate and encourage our collective power.
An article on anarchism and unions, written in an attempt to build support for the Anarchist Workers Network (AWN). The AWN aimed to create a libertarian presence in the trade unions, but after a period of interest it disappeared. An article written to learn some lessons from the AWN is attached at the end.
Did the idea of the so called 'Pensions Levy' come from some of the very Irish Congress of Trade Unions leadership who are supposed to negotiate on behalf of workers. This is one revelation that emerged on Saturday morning at a meeting of over 100 public sector trade unionists and two delegates from the Waterford Glass occupation. We were meeting in the Davenport hotel, Dublin to discuss a collective response to government attacks on workers and in particular the public sector pay cut. Most of those present were on branch committees or even national executives with a couple of branches delegating representatives to the meeting. The gathering could in that context be said to reflect the views of a large number of branches across the unions that organise public sector workers.
Our government has become more and more open about their plans for us. Cowan wants to drive down our living standards 12% and has already cut all our wages through the tax levy and slashed the wages of workers in the public sector further through the so called ‘pensions levy’. He openly talks of “four more years of even steeper cuts”. He is so confident of us taking this lying down that he had the cheek to announce his intention to drive down our living standards at what even RTE referred to as the “Dublin Chamber of Commerce's lavish AGM dinner which cost €160” a head.
A continuation of the discussion raised by the Bailouts or co-operatives? article, which was published in Freedom alongside another article arguing against anarchists raising the demand for co-operatives.
An analysis of the attacks on French public sector strikes in 2007. The irony of supporters of capitalism urging a levelling down, at least for workers.
What the media really means when it comments on industrial action....
In 1998 building workers struggled against the replacement of directly employed workers with contractors through 'Building Workers against the Black Economy' an extra union group that was in reality quite close to the unions and set up to avoid the Industrial Relations Act being used against the unions. In the course of the struggle David McMahon and William Rodgers were jailed, this text is an Anarchist News produced by WSM around the protests at this jailing.
The An Post (post office) dispute of June 1992 should be seen in the context of a fight against casualisation by a well organised workforce. The origins of the dispute go back to March 1990 when the Communication Workers Union (CWU) National Executive agreed with An Post's plan to introduce to casual workers. An emergency motion at the CWU conference in May however instructed the Executive to oppose the introduction of casuals.
George Bush's claim that the war in Iraq was won last May now seems very premature. Saddam may have been caught but US troops are increasingly confined to their bases or to mounting large patrols out of them, at constant risk of ambush. But what is life like for the Iraqi workers caught under the occupation and all too often in the cross-fire?