Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘SIPTU’ Category

Apologies and Recantations – The Strange Cases of two Elected Representatives from Ireland and England – Brian Stanley TD (Sinn Féin, Ireland) and Jeremy Corbyn MP (Labour Party, England)

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We start with a tip, and two savage cartoons.

All political apologisers – such as the Sinn Féin Laois-Offaly TD Brian Stanley – forced to swallow and spit out his words of praise for IRA ambushes in 1920 and 1979 – do not believe any of the sentences they are forced to utter in humiliating public recantations!

Memorial Statue at Kilmichael Co. Cork, Commemorating an IRA 1920 Ambush of Black-and-Tan British Crown Forces

Nobody ever believes the recantation :

The same applies to apologies uttered under duress by former British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Steve Bell’s Cartoon, Banned by the British Guardian Newspaper
Steve Bell’s Cartoon, Banned by the British Guardian Newspaper?

Nobody believes the apologies. The effect is to censor debate on issues which ought to be publicly aired.

Every honest person knows Brian Stanley’s Kilmichael/Narrow Water Tweet about British soldiers successfully ambushed by the IRA in Ireland – Black-and-Tans (1920) and Parachute Regiment (1979) – is a public picture of his own personal opinion and the opinions of many members of his own party.

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Essential profits, replacable union leaders.

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Moments of crisis: Aer Lingus seeks millions from SIPTU over strike threat

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Moments of crisis: Aer Lingus seeks millions from SIPTU over strike threat

Sam Nolan, veteran socialist and trade unionist and long-standing Secretary of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions has post this personal message on Facebook today (14th March). https://www.facebook.com/sam.nolan.391 I have commented on it below.

“Moments of crisis happen at certain stages of history. Such a moment is now upon the trade union movement. The threatened move by AER LINGUS to sue SIPTU for financial damages for a strike that did not take place is such a moment. This move is a threat to the future activity of every trade union in the country. There must be a sharp militant response from CONGRESS affiliated unions as well as a legal challenge. Labour in government must decide which class it represents.”

My comment:

There has been surprising little reaction from the unions, the left and even the blogosphere (or my sector of it) to the announcement that Aer Lingus was suing SIPTU over a strike that did not take place. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/aer-lingus-seeks-millions-from-siptu-over-strike-threat-1.1725298

The action by Aer Lingus, for damages, breach of contract and, in at least one report I heard, conspiracy, has all the marks of the pre-1906 open season on trade unions. As the day wore on the need for someone authoritative in the labour movement to take a stand and make a clarion call was ever more pressing. It is no accident that it is Sam Nolan that has stepped forward and it is fitting and fortunate that it is he who has. Not only has he stood in the front line for decades but he has the respect and authority in the trade union movement to be taken seriously and to be heeded and followed.

When Sam Nolan says it – “Moments of crisis happen at certain stages of history. Such a moment is now upon the trade union movement” – you know it is not stock left rhetoric. It is not some hamburger merchant that is suing, it is the national airline, backed by the airport authority and also by the biggest anti-union outfit on the continent, the William Martin Murphy of 2014.

It is time for SIPTU and ICTU to fight before there is nothing left to fight for – or fight with. And fight with street mobilisation and industrial action, not just in the courts or with press statements which omit that the Labour Party is in government and, in this case, that the government is on the board of the union-busting company. I hope unions, union committees and Branch and Sector Committees can take up his call without delay and that, if there is a delay, the Dublin Council of Trade Unions can repeat its recurrent role of being the focus and the catalyst on crises facing the labour movement.

Des Derwin

http://siptuactivist.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/moments-of-crisis-aer-lingus-seeks-millions-from-siptu-over-strike-threat/

Written by tomasoflatharta

Mar 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm

SIPTU NEC calls for suspension of proposed Household Charge

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From SIPTU this morning:

17th February, 2012

SIPTU NEC calls for suspension of proposed Household Charge

The National Executive Council (NEC) of SIPTU has called on the Government to suspend the proposed Household Charge on the basis that it is unfair and regressive.

At its monthly meeting today (Friday, 17th February) the NEC unanimously supported a motion stating that;

“The Household Charge as currently proposed by the Government is a flat tax which is unfair and regressive in that it subsidises wealthy people at the expense of middle and low income families. The NEC supports the principle of a fair and progressive property tax which is proportionate and which recognises that wealthy households can afford to pay more than those with modest earnings while those on lower incomes should be exempt. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Feb 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

United Left Alliance leaflet on Vita Cortex

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Distributed at the SIPTU Vita Cortex protest, Dáil Eireann, Thursday 12th January 2012

cf. http://siptuactivist.wordpress.com/

TEXT of leaflet:

VITA CORTEX: SOLIDARITY CAN WIN

The slogan outside the Vita Cortex factory says it all: €2.5 million for three company directors. No redundancy pay for 32 workers with 847 years service.

Vita Cortex is a company that was asset stripped by its owner Jack Ronan. He is involved in a web of of companies and has claimed that money for the redundancy should come from one that is controlled by NAMA. For their part NAMA disagrees. meanwhile workers, who have put in 40 years service in some cases, had to occupy over Christmas just to get basic redundancy payments.

The workers initial demand was for 2.9 weeks redundancy pay for every year’s service. That modest sum was the going rate throughout the Vita Cortex group. But the company wants to treat workers like disposable hankies and just throw them out the door. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jan 16, 2012 at 1:28 am

Why Does The Irish Labour Party Seek Fine Gael’s Kiss-of-Death?

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In the last days of the 2011 Irish General Election Campaign Labour Party leaders and spinners are warning that the voters might choose a Fine Gael single party government. Their alternative? : Coalition – Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny for Taoiseach, Labour’s Eamon Gilmore the Tánaiste – that’s the message.

SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor, for example, claims “that a coalition government would be far preferable as the country imposes spending cuts as part of its EU and IMF bailout.

“If you look at the lessons of history, they (Fine Gael) haven’t been in government on their own since 1927 when their predecessor Cumann na nGaedheal was in government,”….

“They pursued policy which resulted in economic stagnation for 60 years. And that’s the kind of policy that’s being advocated by both of the centre-right parties at the present time.”

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/02/15/ireland-politics-union-idUKLDE71E2C620

First – is a single-party Fine Gael government possible or likely?

We will know for sure on Saturday February 26 – at the time of writing, if the polls are right, a single party Fine Gael government is possible but unlikely.

http://politicalreform.ie/2011/02/22/seat-estimates-for-irish-independent-millward-brown-lansdowne-opinion-poll-23rd-february/#more-2337

A second factor is political – many Fine Gael backers, for example the former party leader Garret FitzGerald, argue that coalition with Labour is a better tactical option for this right-wing party. Read the rest of this entry »