Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left


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From Paddy Healy 086-4183732. For a detailed discussion on way ahead in Trade Unions, read “How ICTU Failed Us, The Necessity for Election, Re-Election of General Secretaries” on my Blog:


On Thursday last Richard Bruton announced that the bill to cut the pay of shop assistants, cleaners, agricultural labourers and others on JLC rates and those covered by Registered Employment Agreements was being deferred until the Autumn. This followed the discussion in the Dail of a private members motion from the ULA calling on the government to abandon the measure. The Labour Party and Fine Gael voted down the motion, but the array of deputies voting for the motion frightened the Labour Party. Voting for the motion were Seamus Healy , Joan Collins T, Joe Higgins, Richard Boyd-Barrett, Clare Daly (all ULA), Thomas Pringle, John Halligan, Catherine Murphy, Maureen O’Sullivan, Finian McGrath, Luke Ming Flanagan, Tom Fleming (All Technical Group). Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail also supported the motion. On the proposal of Cllr Declan Bree (ULA), Sligo Co Council had already passed the motion.

There was a “robust discussion” after Bruton addressed the parliamentary Labour Party on the following day. Bruton then announced the deferral. Clearly the ULA are in a position to exert serious pressure on government on behalf of the poor and employees generally due to the threat posed to the Labour Party. ULA will remain highly vigilant in order to be in a position to resist the bill when and if it is introduced. Meetings on the issue in several centres will continue. The next public meeting will be held in Hearns Hotel Clonmel on Thursday June 30 at 8 pm. The meeting will be addressed by Seamus Healy TD, Pat Neill, President of Clonmel Trades Council, and Paddy Healy , Steering Committee ULA

Forum at Liberty Hall

300 people from all 32 counties attended the ULA National Forum in Liberty Hall last Saturday. A report was given of 40 meetings held throughout the country in recent weeks. Branches are being set up in several parts of Dublin and in many provincial centres. The intention is that these branches should organise local support for national ULA initiatives, such as resistance to pay and social welfare cuts, water and house charges, and opposition to repaying the debts of private banks. The organisation is preparing for a major push to increase the number of ULA councillors from the current 20 to a target of fifty in the next local elections. A National Trade Union Activist Network is being organised with groups in all trade unions. The first national Meeting will take place in Teachers Club, Parnell Sq on October 1. There was considerable discussion on the process to be followed which might result in the transformation from an alliance to a political party.

Paddy Healy 086-4183732

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jun 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

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