Gregor Kerr

Teachers’ Union unanimously votes to take Natural Resources into public ownership - update

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A motion at the annual Congress of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) today calling for the “setting up of a policy study group” within the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to “conduct an urgent enquiry into …. the feasibility of the Irish state re-taking into public ownership” Ireland’s Natural Resources has been passed by a unanimous vote - a level of support that took even those who strongly supported the motion by surprize.

Fighting the ‘Bailout’ – why a referendum is not the answer

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Approximately 300 people attended a meeting in the Gresham Hotel in early April which “endorsed the formation of a campaign, called "Enough!" to resist the IMF EU deal and to demand a referendum.”[i] At first thought it seems to be a campaign which should be enthusiastically supported by anarchists and libertarians.  After all we’re always going on about grassroots democracy and about involving people in decisions about things that affect them. And didn’t the people of Iceland have not one but two referenda on their ‘bailout’ in the last 13 months?  If they can have two, why shouldn’t we have at least one!

Dublin woman died of hypothermia

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A Dublin inquest last week heard how a young Ballymun mother died of hypothermia  after Dublin City Council turned off her heating during what was described as “perilously cold” weather in January of last year.

Nurses Union announces campaign against 'slave labour' pay cuts

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The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has announced a campaign of opposition to plans by the government to cut the pay of 4th year student nurses and midwives.  Describing the government’s plans as “devalu[ing], to the level of slave labour, the nature of the essential direct care given during this 36 week rostered placement” INMO general secretary, Liam Doran said “We will fiercely resist this attack on these young professionals which amounts to nothing more than gross exploitation.”

Labour Party plans to punish children for coming from poor families

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The election campaign has hardly begun in earnest but already the Labour Party is in the running for the Most Ridiculous Policy Announcement award. While everyone was distracted by the Fianna Fáil/Green Party circus on Sunday last, Labour’s Education spokesperson Ruairi Quinn launched the party’s new policy on tackling Ireland’s Literacy problems ‘Reading As A Right’.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair unite in attempt to crush union

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In what is clearly a concerted effort to smash their union organisation, over 170 Aer Lingus cabin crew have been ‘removed from the payroll’ by management in a dispute about rostering arrangements.

Opinion Polls suggest Fianna Fail about to be annihilated, But should this worry us?

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I never thought I’d feel this way but the thought that Fianna Fail are about to be wiped out in the forthcoming general election is sort of worrying me. The latest opinion poll has put Fianna Fail’s support as low as 13% - in fourth place behind Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein. 

'Time to make the wealthy pay' - speech by Gregor Kerr at Anti Capitalist Bloc protest

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We are here tonight outside Anglo Irish Bank to deliver a strong and clear message to the cabal of bankers, speculators and developers and their political friends who have brought this country to the brink of economic ruin.  That message as I said is very simple and very straightforward – ‘They didn’t share the wealth, We aren’t going to share the pain. Make the wealthy pay’.

Public Sector deal - INTO Vote No Campaign launches new leaflet

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INTO Vote No posterThe INTO Vote No Campaign today launched a new, updated version of the leaflet calling on members of the union to reject the Public Sector deal. This leaflet will be distributed throughout the country at INTO information meetings and in school staffrooms in the coming weeks in advance of the ballot of members which takes place during May (closing date 21st May).

Public Service deal - the battle lines are drawn

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With the National Executive of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation coming out unanimously against the Public Service deal and the NEC of SIPTU advocating a yes vote, the battle lines are well and truly drawn.  The next few weeks will see an intense debate in the trade union movement on this deal, and the threats of what will happen to us if we don't comply are already coming thick and heavy from government ministers such as Mary Harney and Brian Lenihan.

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