Workplace occupation

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 Rally at the Dáil

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About 150 people rallied at the Dail Thursday lunchtime in support of the Vita Cortex Workers.  According to SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Gerry McCormack, “the Vita Cortex workers have shown enormous courage in making the stance they made.  They are tolerating appalling conditions in terms of sleeping on foam on the ground at night, in what might be described as a large shed, and are fully determined to stay until this employer engages in a meaningful way to resolve this issue. The new owners of the company borrowed millions of euro from AIB to buy out previous shareholders and used the company assets as collateral against those loans.  They gambled with our members’ jobs and livelihoods to gain control over a valuable site in Cork. The Vita Cortex workers securing their rightful redundancy entitlements is a cause which should be supported by all trade unionists and those who believe in the just and fair settlement of industrial disputes. Failure to win this struggle will amount to a massive defeat for all those fighting against the race to the bottom; it will not be allowed happen.”

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.

The employers’ offensive - Striking back gets results

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Thomas Cooke workers refused to go quietly when they were tossed onto the dole. Cooks had made £400m profit in 2008 and their boss, Manny Fontela-Novoa, took home €7 million. This was not a failing business.

The occupation of Thomas Cook

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On Friday 31st July workers at Thomas Cook occupied the shop on Grafton street. Management got a court injunction against the occupation and on Monday morning a huge force of Gardai sealed off the area, smashed their way into the shop and arrested the 28 workers inside.

Direct Action Gets the Goods: Visteon Occupation Pays Off

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The occupation of the Visteon motor parts factory in Belfast ended on May 3rd when the company gave in and agreed pay extra compensation of between six month’s and nearly two year’s money to the workforce for the loss of their jobs.

Visteon occupations - Taking Direct Action

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The Visteon occupations show that we are far from apathetic when it comes to defending our jobs, wages and standard of living. Workers began occupying the Finaghy plant on March 31st, after administrators announced the loss of around 600 jobs at Visteon/Ford plants at Belfast, Basildon and Enfield in England. Davy McMurray, from the Unite trade union, said the way the job cuts were announced was "brutal." Workers were given six minutes notice of their sackings, being treated like mere commodities to be bought and sold, then discarded by our bosses when necessary.

Why we have occupied Visteon, Enfield

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The text of the leaflet produced by workers in occupation of the Ford Visteon factory in Enfield, London explaining why they had joined the occupations in Belfast and Enfield.

Hundreds rally in support of Visteon workers occupation

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Over 200 people marched today from Andersonstown to the factory in Finaghy for a rally, which was addressed by Unite Shop Stewards Charlie Maxwell and John McGuire, including representatives from the SDLP and Sinn Fein.

Workers occupations spread at Visteon Plants.

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“Don’t wait for politicians and people high up in the unions- just do it yourself”, says Unite shop steward John McGuire.

Protests spread, as workers continue to occupy Visteon/Ford plant in West Belfast.

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