Striking is never an easy option – especially for health and social care workers. The longer management can draw out a strike, the harder it gets to maintain the unity of purpose and public support that has been such a feature of the on-going health and social care strikes in […]
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 […]
CPI Trade Union Political School
On Saturday 21 January comrades from around Ireland gathered in Dublin to analyse their involvement in trade unions. The day was an enjoyable one, with a well-arranged programme of events and stimulating talks. Some people ask, “What have the unions done for me?” It is important to list briefly what […]
Unions: Organs of struggle or an insurance policy?
Comrade Doran in the last Voice made several thoughtful observations. To this reader, his remark that Irish union members are “infected with a petty-bourgeois outlook, one that views trade union membership as an insurance policy or a last resort, not as organs of solidarity and struggle,” stood out most. His […]
The struggle against capitalism is a political struggle
The new year begins with no let-up in the assault on the working class. The cost of food, clothes, heat, rent and mortgages continues to rise. Homelessness is increasing. The election of Leo Varadkar as taoiseach will probably result in an intensification of this assault, in the interests of native […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Does militant union pay bargaining increase class-consciousness?
In the July Voice, Nicola Lawlor proposed that “individual unions should concentrate on… strengthening themselves and militantly pursuing big pay claims.” She argues that unions should not be “remov[ed from] pay bargaining [at the workplace] site of struggle and mobilisation.” Localised bargaining is “an instrument… for increasing class-consciousness and militancy […]
What is the trade union movement fighting for?
An interesting but not entirely new debate has begun in Socialist Voice in recent issues on the question of “social partnership” and national wage agreements. On the one hand, Jimmy Doran has condemned “social partnership” outright as class betrayal, with strong statements that it is anti-democratic, embodies insider dealing, […]
OPINION: National wage agreements: Another view
National wage agreements with a private-sector aspect may re-emerge, given the current social costs of capitalism (the “cost-of-living crisis”). Within the CPI contributors have put forward hostile assessments of wage agreements—see Jimmy Doran, “Social partnership? No, thanks” (Socialist Voice, July 2020) or “Talk given by Graham Harrington from the Communist […]
On 12 May the Local Authority Professional Officers’ (LAPO) section of SIPTU adopted a motion calling for a constitutional referendum to enshrine public ownership of water services in the Constitution of Ireland, to counter the threat of the privatisation of water services. LAPO organises approximately 2,000 local authority professional officers […]
Build working-class power
The Trade Union Left Forum announced on May Day that it is near to completing a draft bill to restore rights lost to workers as a result of anti-union legislation dating from the 1940s. The TULF has been campaigning against the Industrial Relations Act (1990) and also anti-worker legislation in […]
Trade unions call for control of Covid
A growing number of trade unions are joining the call for measures to control the increasing numbers being infected by the omicron variant of covid. At the end of March the general secretary of the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation, Phil Ní Shéaghdha, in a letter to the ICTU, explained […]
A Workers’ Rights Act Now!
At the recent biennial delegate conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions a motion from Dublin Council of Trade Unions was passed to seek alternative legislation to restore all rights lost as a result of the Industrial Relations Act (1990). The 1990 act was a direct result of the […]
Before covid-19, “normal” was homelessness, a two-tier health service, waiting-lists, precarious work, poverty pay, no sickness pay, a gig economy, pension-age extensions, lack of workers’ rights, exploitation, bogus self-employment and inequality for the majority of people in Ireland while the parasitic elite profiteered off this misery. “Back to normal” must […]