user preferences

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

category ireland / britain | workplace struggles | opinion / analysis author Friday January 13, 2006 19:47author 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
Employees at the Zarfati Garage in Mishur Adumim vote to strike on July 22, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Ma’an workers union)

Front page

ANARCHISM, ETHICS AND JUSTICE: THE MICHAEL SCHMIDT CASE

Land, law and decades of devastating douchebaggery

Democracia direta já! Barrar as reformas nas ruas e construir o Poder Popular!

Reseña del libro de José Luis Carretero Miramar “Eduardo Barriobero: Las Luchas de un Jabalí” (Queimada Ediciones, 2017)

Análise da crise política do início da queda do governo Temer

Dès maintenant, passons de la défiance à la résistance sociale !

17 maggio, giornata internazionale contro l’omofobia.

Los Mártires de Chicago: historia de un crimen de clase en la tierra de la “democracia y la libertad”

Strike in Cachoeirinha

(Bielorrusia) ¡Libertad inmediata a nuestro compañero Mikola Dziadok!

DAF’ın Referandum Üzerine Birinci Bildirisi:

Cajamarca, Tolima: consulta popular y disputa por el territorio

Statement on the Schmidt Case and Proposed Commission of Inquiry

Aodhan Ó Ríordáin: Playing The Big Man in America

Nós anarquistas saudamos o 8 de março: dia internacional de luta e resistência das mulheres!

Özgürlüğümüz Mücadelemizdedir

IWD 2017: Celebrating a new revolution

Solidarité avec Théo et toutes les victimes des violences policières ! Non à la loi « Sécurité Publique » !

Solidaridad y Defensa de las Comunidades Frente al Avance del Paramilitarismo en el Cauca

A Conservative Threat Offers New Opportunities for Working Class Feminism

De las colectivizaciones al 15M: 80 años de lucha por la autogestión en España

False hope, broken promises: Obama’s belligerent legacy

Primer encuentro feminista Solidaridad – Federación Comunista Libertaria

Devrimci Anarşist Tutsak Umut Fırat Süvarioğulları Açlık Grevinin 39 Gününde

© 2005-2017 Anarkismo.net. 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 Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]