Public demonstration to protest against threat to Dublin Fire Brigade services Monday7th April 2014, 5 pm. Followed by general meeting at 6.45 pm.

Photo: Public demonstration to protest against threat to Dublin Fire Brigade services Monday7th April @17.00

Plaque unveiled on Saturday 22nd March 2014 in Dublin North inner city to the memory of those workers killed during the 1913 Lock Out.  Erected at Liberty House, off Foley Street, Dublin 1, by the Inner City Folklore Project, the Unite trade union and the Dublin Council of Trade Unions.

Video by Donal Higgins

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). 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.

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

Monday 10th March: South Dublin County Council SIPTU workers protest against outsourcing and Gateway jobs scheme:

From: David Gibney <>
Date: 12/06/2013 12:25PM
Subject: M&S Strike Update

Dear Deputy/Senator,

As you may already be aware, more than 2,300 of our members in Marks & Spencer will be participating in industrial action throughout Ireland tomorrow, Saturday, 7th December 2013.

I am writing to you on behalf of our members in order to give you some context to the dispute.

In late September, Marks & Spencer began negotiations with Mandate and SIPTU in relation to a number of proposed cost saving initiatives. This followed the closure of four of their stores with the loss of 180 jobs in Tallaght, Naas, Dun Laoghaire and Newbridge. The proposal for cost savings included:

         A reduction in the Sunday and Public Holiday premium;

         The elimination of the Christmas bonus;

         A reduction in the number of Section Managers.

During the discussions, Mandate sought clarification that the above proposals formed the entirety of the savings plan. The company emphatically assured the workers and their unions that this was the case.

Within a number of weeks the company dropped the bombshell that they were closing the workers defined benefit pension scheme. The company insists that the workers retirement income is a discretionary benefit. Obviously, we differ on that position.

Management have not given sufficient evidence that these cost saving proposals are justified and in that context it is difficult for the workers to accept the unilateral imposition of cost saving measures like the closing of the Defined Benefit pension scheme which unlike many is performing and has a current surplus of 17m.

Notwithstanding the pre-emptive attack on our members terms and conditions the union attended two conciliation conferences at the Labour Relations Commission in order to find a resolution. However, despite being requested to defer some of the implementation dates for the removal of our members much valued entitlements to facilitate meaningful engagement, management refused to agree.

The company are now seeking negotiations after the event whereby theyve already implemented the change. This obviously prohibits the union and the company from engaging in a constructive fashion and this reality clearly makes it more difficult to find a resolution to the current dispute.

There is an opportunity to resolve this dispute but the company have to accept that their actions in the first place were wrong and they must not only show a willingness to come back to the negotiating table but also a genuine determination to agree a settlement which is acceptable to their workers.

Our members do not want to take industrial action and are genuinely hurt and disappointed with the way their employer has treated them. Were urging the company to act in a manner which is befitting of the perception that the public has of Marks and Spencer as a reputable employer and give their workers the respect and a resolution to this dispute that they undoubtedly deserve.

On behalf of our members I would like to thank you for your continued support and if you have any questions in relation to this dispute, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

Gerry Light

Mandate Assistant General Secretary

Mobile: 087 264 0044

David Gibney

Communications Officer

Mandate Trade Union

9 Cavendish Row

Dublin 1

PH: 01 871 7003

Mob: 087 132 4140





Busworker Special 21-10-13                                                                                       Busworker Special 21-10-13 2


Busworker Oct 2013 FINAL


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