Trade Unionism

Ireland Latest Political Economy Trade Unionism

Public Sector Strikes and Union Strategy 

150,000 public sector workers recently undertook a 24-hour strike across the North. The demand was principally in relation to pay. Adding fuel to worker discontent are strained public services, which impact labour effort via intensification but also relativity of pay. Northern Irish workers’ salaries compare unfavourably to equivalents in Britain. […]

Trade Unionism

Mandate calls for improved services

The Mandate trade union has called on the Government to use budgetary surplus to improve public services and housing while replacing the minimum wage with a living wage. Mandate, representing more than 24,000 workers in the retail, bar and administration sectors, is calling on the Government to invest in capital […]

Trade Unionism

Solidarity forever!

The Industrial Relations Act (1990) was designed to control workers, and it attacked the trade union movement at its very core by making solidarity between workers illegal. This was done by restricting workers taking industrial action together, dividing work-places into separate grades, and banning support strikes. Solidarity is the foundation […]

Trade Unionism

Let us arise!

As the trade union movement gathers in Kilkenny for the ICTU biennial delegate conference, we must take notice of the changing demographics of union membership. The average age of union members is 48. Only about 12 per cent of members are under 30 years of age. Despite the number of […]

Trade Unionism

Debt and strikes

In 2017 the Trade Union Left Forum published an article that speculated about the link between increasing household debt and reduced strike action. The article suggested a relationship between growing debt and inequality and reduced worker militancy. The full article and the statistics used are available at http://www.tuleftforum.com/debt-inequality-industrial-action-chicken-egg/, but a […]

Trade Unionism

Are unions ready to take a chance?

In November’s Socialist Voice I wrote an article on the High-Level Report on Collective Bargaining, entitled “An opportunity, not a panacea.” In it I suggested: “For this opportunity will only be of value if the movement invests significant time, resources and energy in the organisation, structurally, of workers in their […]

Trade Unionism

An opportunity, not a panacea

The recent report by the High-Level Group on Collective Bargaining is an opportunity for the trade union movement, and for workers seeking to collectively organise and unionise. It will absolutely not solve the declining density and power of the movement, but if made use of it may present an additional […]

Trade Unionism

Time for leadership and clear demands

A call to action for communist and progressive trade unionists The cost-of-living crisis—or, as the CPI more accurately describes it, the cost of greed—is now hitting working people hard throughout the country. It is time for clear demands from the trade union movement, and the leadership to win. But rest […]