Trade Unionism

Latest 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, 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 […]

Trade Unionism

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 […]

Trade Unionism

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 […]

Current Affairs Trade Unionism

Workers’ world

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 […]