The Programme for Prosperity and Fairness - a crap deal for workers


Around Christmas once every three years of so we enter into a special mating season in the industrial relations jungle. The mating of three unlikley species, the goverment, the bosses and the trade unions takes place. This spectacle is so spectacularly ugly to witness that it's never covered by TV cameras. Each mating season is given it's individual name and this time in 2002/03 attempts were under way to sire a son to the 'Programme for Prosperity and fairness'.

Democratic deficit in SIPTU and INTO


At the October general meeting of my union branch, Dublin City North INTO (Irish National Teachers Organisation), the district representative on the CEC (Central Executive Committee) told the members that the union leadership was in the process of lodging a claim for a pay increase to compensate for inflation. However, he said, he couldn't possibly tell us what the amount of that claim was, as this was confidential. The members were effectively being told 'don't worry your heads, your leaders will decide what's best for you.'

The inflation con - demand pay increases


Isn't the Celtic Tiger great! This year's pay increase, under the Programme for Prosperity & Fairness, is 5.5%. As we go to press inflation is 6.2%, and rising. When the economy was in recession we were told to tighten our belts so that the economy could recover. Now that it is booming we are being told to accept what is actually a pay cut, in order to keep it booming.

Partnership fight provides real opportunity for return to activism in teachers' unions


THE BATTLE AGAINST the latest "social partnership" deal - The Programme for Prosperity and Fairness - in the teachers' unions has thrown up the best chance for decades for the building of a real rank-and-file oppositional group within the three teacher unions. Activists in all three unions - the INTO, TUI and ASTI - have united in "Teachers Against Partnership" and delivered a strong message to the leadership of the unions that passivity among the rank-and-file is coming to an end.

Some lessons from the 'Campaign Against A New Partnership Deal' 2000


THE WORKERS Solidarity Movement have, since their inception with the Programme for National Recovery in 1987, identified 'social partnership' agreements as a major problem. Not only do they hold down wages while placing no limits on prices or profits; they also massively reduce ordinary members' participation in their unions, erode internal union democracy, and encourage a denial of independent working class interests.

'Partnership', trade unionism and anarchism


As Partnership 2000 nears the end of its three year term, talks are underway by the employers' organisation IBEC, the government and the ICTU to draw up a fifth national 'partnership' agreement.

While the economy is booming and the fear of unemployment has receded in most areas, our unions are not exactly overflowing with militancy. In fact we have seen an offensive by employers. Nobody needs reminding about Ryanair.

Organise! dissolve and fighting partnership - For starters WS 58


Irish syndicalism - WE HAVE LEARNED with regret that the Irish section of the International Workers Association, Organise!, has decided to dissolve itself. Although we had political differences with this anarcho-syndicalist group - in particular with their approach of trying to build new revolutionary unions - we welcomed their existence as offering another option to those interested in anarchism in Ireland.

Significant minority say no to Programme for Competitiveness and Work


AS EXPECTED the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Special Conference voted to accept the Programme for Competitiveness and Work, by 256 to 76. Unions opposed included the ATGWU, TEEU, MSF, NUJ and the FUGE which represents low paid messengers and cleaners in the civil service.

Vote No to the Programme for Competitiveness and Work


TOP TRADE union leaders like Phil Flynn, Billy Attley and Peter Cassells have been working flat out to get the employers and government to agree another national deal for pay restraint. The talks were on, then they were off, then they were on again. It was all a game to make it look like the unions leaders were fighting hard for their members. And maybe they felt they had to put on more of an act this time. The Programme for Competitiveness and Work doesn't even pretend to offer much more than pay restraint and cheap labour schemes.

Executive pay in Ireland - Laughing all the way to the bank


ALTHOUGH workers have been getting a bad deal out of the PNR and now the PESP in terms of pay the same can hardly be said for Irish bosses. In 1989-90 many executives got increases of 20% according to a recent Irish Management Institute survey.

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