Cork

Cork: Hundreds Turn Out to Support Vita Cortex Workers

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Factory-gate rally draws large support ahead of LRC talks next week

 

This afternoon, the workers of Vita Cortex in Cork accompanied by several hundred supporters attended a rally at the factory gates on Kinsale Road, which was organised by the Cork Council of Trade Unions. Among the attendance showing their support for the Vita Cortex workers were several former staff from the La Senza lingerie store chain, who themselves were in dispute with the liquidator of their former employer KPMG until this Friday. They were made feel very welcome by the crowd, and the speakers from the impromptu platform in the factory carpark drew inspiration in their speeches from the result achieved by the La Senza workers who were in a similar situation to that facing the 32 Vita Cortex employees. The platform was compered by Pat Guilfoyle of the TEEU, and other speakers were Vita Cortex shop steward Seán Kelleher, president of Cork Council of Trade Unions Ann Piggott, and Joe O'Flynn, general secretary of SIPTU and Cork native. Mr. O'Flynn spoke of the efforts being made by SIPTU headquarters in pursuit of a resolution of this situation, and he castigated runaway employer Jack Ronan for refusing to pay the €1.2m owed to his former employees, a sum described by Mr. O'Flynn as 'not a king's ransom'. He also spoke of the union's determination to support the Vita Cortex workers in their dispute 'for the long haul, if it takes 30 days or 30 weeks, with the support of trade union members across the country'. The rally ended with a long peal of applause as the names of all 32 Vita Cortex workers were read out from the podium.

CCTU Unemployed Centre, Vita Cortex and a NAMA building - Cork's three occupations

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Three occupations in Cork highlight the ideas of direct action, self-organisation and solidarity

 

At a time when Ireland's rich class and their government are relying on passivity and apathy from the country's working class to push through their austerity agenda with the minimum of resistance, the presence of three separate occupations of workplaces and vacant NAMA commercial property in Cork is a hopeful sign that 'the powers that be' are not going to have it all their own way, as they attempt to make everyone else pick up the tab for the economic carnage their actions have unleashed upon this society. Although each occupation is separate and different in origin and potential outcome, each one shows that people do understand the necessity and the effectiveness of direct action in this time when bosses and property owners are trying every trick in the book to slough off their debts and evade public accountability while doing so.

Vita Cortex Workers continue occupation

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Workers are continuing their occupation of the Vita Cortex plant in Cork city today.  The workers began their sit in on Friday, the day the doors were due to close.  The workers are protesting over the non-payment of redundancy monies due.  With over 800 years service between them there is an outstanding entitlement to €1.2m in redundancy payments.  The reason given for the non-payment is a stand off between the company and NAMA.  The money is in accounts of a sister firm frozen by NAMA.

Cork mobilises against the household tax

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The past two weeks have seen growing momentum in the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes in Cork city and county. A further 6 public meetings have been held to initiate local organising groups to build the campaign: Dunmanway and Skibbereen in West Cork , Bishopstown and Gurranabraher in the city, and Ballincollig and Blarney. They join Cobh in East Cork, Ballyphehane, Mahon and South Parish/Greenmount on the citys southside and Ballyvolane, Farranree and Mayfield on the northside.

Cork - Parade in Defiance

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Occupy Cork invites everyone opposed to the current austerity regime out in force on Saturday, Dec. 3rd. Similar actions on this date will be co-ordinated with Occupy camps in Dublin, Waterford and Galway. A solidarity action from Occupy Belfast has also been proposed. Assembling outside the opera house at Emmet Place at 1:30pm, we will march down the quay, up Patrick St. and down South Mall, back to Emmet Place. There we will hold a general assembly at which anyone can speak.

Poll supporting IMF/ECB austerity deal shows need for left to offer alternative vision

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An opinion poll in todays' Irish Examiner newspaper shows the depth of resignation and pessimism that has engulfed a large section of the population.  The Red C poll found "almost half the country believes Ireland should continue complying with the terms and conditions of the EU/IMF bailout, which is one year old today. A smaller but still sizeable number are against compliance, believing the bailout agreement represents a bad deal".  48% of those polled favoured continuing on the current path; 33% opposed, even though some 45% think the new government is doing a bad job of managing the economy.

Mayfield meeting pledges to fight Household Tax

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A meeting in St.Joesphs' Community Centre in Mayfield, Cork, on Monday night, pledged determined opposition to the coming household tax.  The meeting was addressed by campaign members Dave Keating and James McBarron who outlined the reasons for opposition and the plan to organise in every community in a mass non payment campaign.

Overheard pre budget conversation in Cork

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Overheard pre budget conversation between two women shoppers in Aldi in Cork city.

Solidarity Books in Cork - making a difference

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Early in the morning the crew arrive from the Occupy Cork camp to do their dish washing in the back kitchen of Solidarity Books. At 12 o'clock the days first volunteer arrives to open the bookshop and by lunch time the campers are back for the lunchtime wash up.  By evening the bookshop is closed but will invariably re open by 8 for a meeting or organising group, maybe a movie showing or a talk, the Climate Campers doing their vegan cafe or it could be the Couchsurfers for their meet up, maybe the Campaign Against the HouseHold Tax for an organising meeting or just a crew to paste posters onto corriboard.

Cork: Colombia - Documentary Screening & Discussion with Javier Orozco, Wed. 9th Nov. 8pm, @solidaritybooks

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This Wednesday November 9th, Solidarity Books will host a screening of 'Colombia: the new wave of social protest and the dirty war against the people'

Start time is 8pm and the film's director, Javier Orozco, Colombian Refugee and Trade Unionist, will attend.

Wed. 9th Nov. 
8pm,
Solidarity Books, 43 Douglas St, 
Cork

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