user preferences

Magnificent solidarity in Ireland as 100,000 'walked out'

category ireland / britain | workplace struggles | opinion / analysis author Friday January 13, 2006 20:47author by Alan MacSimoin - WSM - Workers Solidarityauthor email wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

Analysis of Irish Ferries walk out and the role of union leaders

Most of our unions are run by people who see their role as simply lobbying the government, providing services and dealing with individual members' problems rather than also fighting to improve pay and conditions

Magnificent show of solidarity

The old union motto "an injury to one is the concern of all" is taken more seriously by ordinary union members than by many of our "leaders".

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions, sheltering behind the 1990 Industrial Relations Act which makes strikes in support of other workers unlawful, didn't call for a national walk-out. We knew they wanted us to strike and march but their over-cautious approach didn't exactly inspire workers with particularly aggressive employers.

Nevertheless 80,000 marched in Dublin, 15,000 in Waterford, 10-15,000 in Cork, 10,000 in Limerick, 3,000 in Tralee, 2,500 in Sligo, 2,000 in Athlone, 2,000 in Rosslare, and 1,000 in Galway. When we add in those who walked out of work but didn't get to their local march and those who attended smaller rallies like that organised at the last minute in Drogheda, we have about 150,000 workers taking part. This included many recently arrived workers from Eastern Europe, who are on the lowest wages.

Most of our unions are run by people who see their role as simply lobbying the government, providing services and dealing with individual members' problems rather than also fighting to improve pay and conditions. These people have no interest in conflict with employers or government, being the most enthusiastic supporters of 'social partnership'.

Our unions have fantastic potential. We have the numbers and we have the ability to close down the country. But as long as we place our trust in the likes of Begg and O'Connor that potential will remain untapped. They have us fighting like a drunk with one hand behind our back and the other in our pocket. The more weakness the bosses see, the harder they stick the boot in.

See also Irish anarchist analysis of Irish Ferries strike settlement deal

From Workers Solidarity 90, Jan/Feb 2006

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Rojava: Mensaje urgente de un compañero anarquista en Afrin

Front page

[Colombia] Perspectivas sobre la primera vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales de Colombia 2018

Call for Solidarity with our Russian Comrades!

8 reasons anarchists are voting Yes to Repeal the hated 8th

Comunicado de CGT sobre la Nakba, 70 años de dolores para el Pueblo Palestino

[ZAD] Les expulsions ont commencé, la zad appelle à se mobiliser

Assassinato Político, Terrorismo de Estado: Marielle Franco, Presente!

La Huelga General del 8 de Marzo, un hito histórico

A intervenção federal no Rio de Janeiro e o xadrez da classe dominante

Halklarla Savaşan Devletler Kaybedecek

Σχετικά με τον εμπρησμό

Ciao, Donato!

[Uruguay] Ante el homicidio de un militante sindical: Marcelo Silvera

[Argentina] Terrorista es el Estado: Comunicado ante el Informe Titulado "RAM"

[Catalunya] Continuisme o ruptura. Sobre les eleccions del 21D

Reconnaissance par Trump de Jérusalem comme capitale d'Israël : de l'huile sur le feu qui brûle la Palestine

Noi comunisti anarchici/libertari nella lotta di classe, nell'Europa del capitale

Luttons contre le harcèlement et toutes les violences patriarcales !

The Old Man and the Coup

Hands off the anarchist movement ! Solidarity with the FAG and the anarchists in Brazil !

URGENTE! Contra A Criminalização, Rodear De Solidariedade Aos Que Lutam!

¡Santiago Maldonado Vive!

Catalunya como oportunidad (para el resto del estado)

La sangre de Llorente, Tumaco: masacre e infamia

Triem Lluitar, El 3 D’octubre Totes I Tots A La Vaga General

© 2005-2018 Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]