IWU

WSM Points of Unity Explained: 5 - Trade Unions

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'5. A major focus of our activity is our work within the economic organisations of the working class (labour organisations, trade unions, syndicates) where this is a possibility. We therefore reject views that dismiss activity in the unions because as members of the working class it is only natural that we should also be members of these mass organisations. Within them we fight for the democratic structures typical of anarcho-syndicalist unions like the 1930's CNT. However, the unions no matter how revolutionary cannot replace the need for anarchist political organisation(s).'

Throughout history the trade union movement has been a vitally important mass movement. In the face of bitter hardship and repression - even state murder - the downtrodden have banded together and demanded more, driving society forwards in the process. For instance, in Ireland we can thank the union movement for the end of child labour and for the 'weekend'. However, unions are not a relic for museums. Recent victories for better conditions and pay are a practical proof of that, not to mention participation of some fairly large unions in wider grassroots political campaigns. In spite of the relative decline of trade unions in the past neoliberal decades, their role today is still greatly important, as long as there are zero-hour contracts, wage cuts, pay freezes, lay-offs, unpaid overtime, long days, workplace bullying, and capitalism itself.

NI Housing Executive workers win payment after lunchtime protest

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Housing Executive workers held a successful lunchtime protest yesterday outside their offices in Adelaide street in Belfast city centre to demand their bosses keep to their commitment that a £250 payment be given to low-paid workers who earn less than £21,000 per year. 

Independent Workers Union hold successful benefit in Belfast

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Up to 100 people attended a benefit organised by the Independent Workers Union in Belfast last Thursday. Members and supporters listened to a passionate speech given by IWU organiser Tommy McKearney at the Na Croisbhealai workers café on the need to organise in our workplaces’ and build an alternative to the rotten neo-liberal model being imposed on us. Tommy gave a similar talk at the workers co-operative in Octoberand can be viewed here.

Focus on precarity - Ireland

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Over the past year there has been an emerging preoccupation among anarchists and socialists with precarity as it’s an expression of a new work discipline imposed by neo-liberalism. Already there have been several precarity forums in European cities aimed at etching out a sense of the identities formed through the shared experience of the demands of job market flexibility.

Independent Workers Union

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The Independent Workers Union (IWU) is a new small Irish trade union which stands outside the partnership consensus and is attempting to build a radical trade union.

Report from 2006 Independent Workers Union conference

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An anarchist reports from the conference of the Independent Workers Union held Saturday in Dublin. The IWU broke away from the ATGWU (another general union that admits all workers) in 2002 .

WSM greetings to IWU conference

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The 3rd conference of the Indepedent Workers Union took place in Dublin Saturday April 9. The Workers Solidarity Movement extended our solidarity and ongoing support for the work of the IWU.

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