Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries: Exploiting workers and insulting Wilde

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When Irish Ferries launched their new €50million vessel in Dublin Port on Tuesday 29th January, 400 guests from the tourism, freight and shipping sectors attended the naming ceremony. How many of them, I wonder, took a moment as they quaffed their champagne and nibbled on their canapés to ponder on the news revealed by International Transport Workers Federation inspector, Ken Fleming, that the workers who would be manning the ferry will be paid as little as €4 per hour?

Irish Ferries - Ships occupied

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The (Irish Ferries) dispute escalated on November 24th when goons from a private security firm brought Eastern European seafarers onto the ships. If the ferries resumed sailing the dispute would be effectively over, with Irish Ferries winning hands down.

Irish Ferries demonstrations - Magnificent show of solidarity

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The old union motto "an injury to one is the concern of all" is taken more seriously by ordinary union members than by many of our "leaders". The Irish Congress of Trade Unions, sheltering behind the 1990 Industrial Relations Act which makes strikes in support of other workers unlawful, didn't call for a national walk-out. We knew they wanted us to strike and march but their over-cautious approach didn't exactly inspire workers with particularly aggressive employers.

Irish ferries - a great struggle but a terrible deal

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On December 14th the three week dispute at Irish Ferries came to an end. SIPTU claimed that the deal protects a "threshold of decency". Irish Ferries had offered redundancy to 543 crew members, who were to be replaced with staff employed on wages of just €3.60 an hour - less than half the national minimum wage.

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