ICTU

Take Back The Power! - Our message to ICTU's anti-debt marches 9th Feb '13

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It is time for every one of us to take responsibility for trying to turn things around.  We have to stop referring to ‘the union’ as something outside of ourselves and begin to see that our unions are OURS.  We have to stop seeing ‘head office’ and ‘the officials’ as anything other than employees of the union - our employees who should be taking their instruction from us.  And we have to convince our fellow-workers that there is a benefit to engaging with the union structures and organising to resist.

ICTU can't be trusted to organise a general strike

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Tens of thousands will take part in today's ICTU demonstration in Dublin but the demonstration is seen by ICTU’s leaders as yet another one-off protest, another ‘letting-off-steam’ exercise, a trek around town from A to B to listen to speeches from the same people that have misled us to this position and then go home and get ready to vote for Labour in the forthcoming election.  Far from ‘standing idly by’ they are actively working to demobilise opposition to the government.   Against this we need to use today's protest as the starting point for the conversation about what we’re going to replace the current rotten mess with and as the first block in building for the general strike that we need to bring that about.

Trade Unionists betrayed by leadership

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On Tuesday 24th November 2009, 250,000 public sector workers took strike action in opposition to the government policy of public service pay cuts. This was a potentially massive show of defiance and the first time in more than 20 years that the trade union movement had flexed its collective muscle.

Why are the ICTU leaders refusing to fight the cuts - It's Time to Strike Back

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Working people hit the streets in huge numbers on November 6th. The protests showed, once again, that there is a willingness to resist the government’s attacks on living standards. Most observers put the total number who walked out of work to take part in the eight protests at around 100,000.

120,000 workers march through Dublin - National strike now!

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On Saturday 120,000 workers marched through Dublin demanding the the public sector pay cut ('pension levy') be withdrawn, that jobs cuts be opposed and that all the other attacks on the working class be ended. Over the last couple of weeks there have been dozens of local union meetings of workers in the public sector demanding strike action to halt the cuts. The march was a chance not only to put pressure on the government but also to demand that our unions do the only thing that can halt the cuts, call a national strike.

The WSM met up to leaflet the march at 1.30 at the Parnell monument, and then joined the demonstration with a banner demanding a National Strike. Here we present reports, interviews with and photos from WSM members who took part on the demonstration and the leafletting as well as background articles on the nature of the crisis

Pay Restoration Con of the Politicans, Media and Union Leaders - Decade Later Far from Restoration to 2007 Levels

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Details of the latest national plan agreed between the government and union leaders have appeared in the media today, as usual well ahead of the union leaders bothering to tell their membership anything. Then union leaders intention is to present workers with a ‘take it or leave it’ choice accompanied by dire warnings that there is no choice.

The deal as expected is pretty rotten and in effect ensures that the pay cuts imposed on public sector workers from 2009 will at least partially be in place for some workers a full decade and a year later in 2020. What’s even worse is that the worse pay and conditions imposed on workers employed after 2012 are being set in stone rather than overturned. This despite it seeming an essential basic demand of a union that workers doing the same work should receive the same pay.

So much for Solidarity - ICTU and sex workers

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In 2012 The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) made a submission to the Irish government’s public consultation on the prostitution laws. Most of it was just a cut-and-paste job of text sent to them by the Turn Off The Red Light campaign, which seeks the introduction of the Swedish model. But there is one part of ICTU’s original contribution which I found remarkable. A few paragraphs down the submission cites – clearly for the purpose of endorsing – the view of the Technical, Electrical & Engineering Union‘s General Secretary that “prostitution could not be considered work”.

 

After Croke Park: Defeating austerity - prepare to Strike to Win

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Public service workers proved in the Croke Park vote that we are capable of getting organised to defeat the careful plans of the government to make us swallow yet another round of cuts.  This despite the fact that the leadership of the two biggest public sector unions were working with the government in trying to get us to accept that plan.  And now they are in a panic because the No vote to Croke Park represents a massive refusal of their claim that austerity is the solution to the crisis.  Almost 300,000 workers have declared that Enough is Enough, add in our immediate families and this is probably quarter of the population.

This doesn't mean the fight is over, the No vote is only the start of defeating austerity.  Public Service Workers are not alone, 400,000 households have not registered for the Property Tax.  Across society ordinary working people are saying Enough, that is one of strengths.  We think we can beat any attempt to unilaterally oppose pay cuts around the points that follow

ICTU: Taking the politics out of protest

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Depending on whose figures you believe, somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people took to the streets yesterday (Sat 9th February) to register their opposition to the foisting of private bank debt onto the shoulders of ordinary workers, the refusal to tax the wealthy and the accompanying austerity agenda which has led to wage cuts, job losses, cuts in services and a plethora of increased taxation measures all of which have disproportionately affected those on low and middle incomes.

Croke Park talks are a farce - unions have no mandate to enter negotiations

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According to RTE (Monday 14th Jan), “The opening negotiations on a new public service agreement have ended after a meeting between management and unions.”  It’s tempting to ask whether anyone on either side of the talks has even a basic idea of what the word “negotiations” means.  Even in a hostage situation, if the police open “negotiations” with the hostage takers, it’s usually with a tacit understanding that there will have to be some concessions made in order to secure the release of the hostages.  In this case however, it’s akin to the police negotiator discussing with the hostage taker whether the hostages are to be killed by gunshot, stabbing or poisoning.  The notion that the role of the negotiator is to secure the release of the hostages has been ditched.

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