Workplace occupation

Clear as Crystal … Waterford shows how to fight

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The workers at Waterford Crystal occupying the plant are an example to us all. Rather than accept the closure of the business, the loss of all the jobs and the destruction of the area’s premier industry; workers seized the buildings making liquidation impossible for the receiver.

Waterford Crystal Workers Speak Out against plant closure

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Noel Atkins and Pat Phelan, Waterford Crystal workers and Unite Shop Stewards, travelled to Cork last night to speak out against the attempted closure of the plant. They spoke from the heart as workers tossed on the scrap heap after decades of service.

Support workers occupying Waterford Glass

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Workers have been occupying the Waterford Glass factory in Kilbarry for five days now after the receiver was unable to borrow further funds to keep the plant operating. Yesterday as 150 workers continued the occupation members of the Cork WSM visited the plant and interviewed Joe Kelly, the chairman of the Crystal Unite branch. The Cork branch later issued a statement in support of the occupation.

Workers Occupation of Reilly Bookbinders in Wicklow Pays Off

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The boss is shown the door and the workers take over. That’s what happened for a month at Reilly Bookbinders on the Murrough Industrial Estate in Wicklow town.The company had been in Wicklow for 30 years. Then four years ago it was taken over by Dunne and Wilson (Ireland) Ltd.. Two years later the building from which the company operated was sold to the Wicklow Enterprise Centre for over €900,000. It is understood to have been acquired by Dunne and Wilson for between €400,000 and €450,000. Then, this summer, boss Richard Geraghty told staff that the lease was up on August 1st and their work was being relocated to the Czech Republic.

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.

Argentina - assemblies, occupied factories and Piquettes- a living laboratory of struggle

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On Sunday May 18th Argentineans went to the polls and elected Nestor Kirchner - widely considered a puppet of the former populist president Eduado Duhalde. Yet on December 19/20th 2001 Argentineans "churned through 3 presidents in a row" as thousands poured into the streets. Their slogan: "que se vayan todos" (everyone must go). Yet quite clearly "everyone", in the shape of an old school populist president, is back. This begs two questions. Firstly how did such a formidable protest/popular movement evolve, and secondly where is it now?

Russian workers beat off armed attack on occupied factory

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SOVIETSKY, Russia - On July 9th 1999, eighty masked, uniformed gunmen accompanied by the local prosecutor and other officials tried to storm the Vyborg Pulp and Paper Mill, under occupation by its workers for the past eighteen months.One special police unit, normally used to put down prison riots, is reported to have been particularly vicious. At the same time, another private armed militia linked to the mill owners captured the workers elected director Vantorin and tried to force (and offered him a substantial bribe) him to call off the strike. He stood firm and the workers, using the mill's own alarm system managed to mobilise enough people, including local residents who support their struggle, to beat off the attack. However, the fighting was fierce, and two workers are seriously injured.

Factory committees in the Russian Revolution

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The factory committees appeared in Petrograd and Moscow around February/March of 1917, and quickly spread. Elected directly by the workers in each enterprise, they appear initially to have formed in a response to theatened closures, and to press for the 8-hour day, though the scope of their demands would soon extend.  But by 1918 they were being suppressed by the new Bolshevik government.

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