Personality politics & the European elections - Don't vote: It only encourages them


THERE ARE so many parachutes in the sky we can no longer see the sun. They are dropping 'personalities' into the June Euro-election. All the major parties in the 26 counties have selected 'names' to run for them. Fianna Fáil got Olive Braiden from the Rape Crisis Centre; Labour got RTE's Orla Guerin; Fine Gael got the Ranchers' leader, Alan Gillis.

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.

Bosnia, Rwanda and UN intervention


The WSM has always said socialists should not support any intervention by the UN anywhere. What is currently happening in Bosnia and Rwanda demonstrates the reasons why we should not call on the UN to intervene.

In Europe most people have favoured intervention from an early period in ex-Yugoslavia. Initially this would have been in the support of Croatia, now it would be for Bosnia. Yet despite the popular acclaim such intervention would receive (in its early days), it has not happened. Why? Because our rulers have decided it is not in their interests to do so.

Edouard Balladur retreats in face of mass protests in France


PRIME MINISTER Edouard Balladur and his government have been in retreat over the last six months as the people of France take to the streets to demonstrate their anger at new policies. The government has backed down on Air France (see last issue of WS), on extra funds for church schools and with the fishermen. The turn of the students of France came when the government proposed to cut the miniumm wage by 20% for people under 26.

Cops ban Class War meeting in Dublin


YOU DON'T have to break the law to get hassled by the gardai. The Class War Federation planned a small public meeting, entitled "the politics behind the anger", in a Dublin pub last March. This group, who describe themselves as "communists", have gained lots of media coverage in Britain by organising publicity stunts like their 'Bash the Rich' marches (where no rich people got bashed!) and publishing a poster of a cemetery with the caption "we have found new homes for the rich".

People in Need Telethon - A hypocritical sham


ON FRIDAY MAY 20th, starting at 3 pm., R.T.E. will broadcast over 10 hours of the "People in Need" Telethon. All over the country people will - with the very best of intentions - organise fund-raising events to raise money for "the poor". There are two main reasons why we feel the Telethon should be opposed

Wage councils abolished in north - get you claims in


WAGES COUNCILS in Northern Ireland (and Britain) have been abolished by the Tory government. For years they set minimum pay rates in some of the traditionally low paid industries like catering. As of last February 7th they are no more.

However the Wages Inspectorate will continue to investigate complaints and order payments of back money until August 6th of this year. After that date you will no longer be allowed to recover the wages that you were legally entitled to.

PLC students demand grants


STUDENTS from low income backgrounds are having to drop out of their studies. If you are doing a Post-Leaving Certificate course you get no grant. Nothing at all. A survey in Ballyfermot Senior College found that 48% of these students have to work long hours after lectures to find the cash to keep them in college. 97% said that their jobs interfered with their course work. Not everyone can burn the candle at both ends. Some students are finding it impossible to study and then work twenty or more hours each week.

Thats' Capitalism from WS42


In spite of the Employment Equality Act and the Anti- Discrimination (Pay) Act many employers still get away with treating women workers worse than male employees. More than fifteen years after the introduction of equal pay laws in the 26 counties, women workers earn only 62% of men's average earnings. On an hourly basis they are paid, on average, #2 less.


60% of the tax relief in the 26 counties on mortgage interest and VHI premiums goes to the top 20% of earners. Only 5% goes to the bottom half.

Workers Solidarity changes format and other Spring 1994 news from WSM


THE CHANGE from a magazine to newspaper format reflects the increased readership Workers Solidarity is building up. It will take a few issues before we iron out all problems involved in changing our printing process but we hope you will bear with us. None of us is a professional journalist or designer. This issue was produced by a gardener, a couple of office workers, a teacher, a researcher, three unemployed people and a student.