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The cost of 'partnership'
ireland / britain | workplace struggles | opinion / analysis Tuesday September 21, 2010 18:10 by Gregor Kerr - WSM
HSE & Health Service National Partnership Forum payments
Many trade union activists have known for years that “social partnership” comes at a huge price for union independence and the ability of trade unions to defend the interest of their members. The myth that government and employers on one side and workers on the other side have some form of common interest has been peddled for over twenty years. This has resulted in a trade union movement whose leadership seems incapable of independent thought and whose membership has been browbeaten into accepting pay cuts, ‘pension levies’ and various attacks on our working conditions and living standards over the past couple of years.
The recently published Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report has lifted the lid just slightly on how much the government was willing to pay for this blunting of the trade union movement – and how willing certain members of the trade union leadership were to essentially sell the movement’s soul.