Dublin Council of Trade Unions


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Dublin Council of Trade Unions Flyer 10-10-2014

19th April 2013

All members are requested to participate in the May Day march in Dublin in this Centenary Year of the 1913 Lockout. The march is being organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. 

Arrangements are as follows: 
Wednesday 1st May 2013 – Assemble at Parnell Square at 7.00 p.m. to march to Liberty Hall for a public meeting.  

Yours in solidarity

presnew

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Mayday1

The following statement is circulating and was planned to go out from some shop stewards and union reps. I have not seen it surface in the media yet. I signed it  though I have a reservation on at least one secondary point. I don’t fully agree with the tactic of stopping contributions to union political funds because it might give an excuse to those who would like to prohibit political issues from union business.

DD

WE ARE NOT MARCHING IN SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT

The leaders of the ICTU are presenting the demonstration on February 9th as being solely directed at the EU and the ECB. Some have gone out of their way to say it is not directed at the Fine Gael-Labour government.

We, the undersigned, however will be marching to demand BOTH the lifting of debt burden and an end to the austerity policies of the Irish government.

We believe that the union leaders should be:

· Proclaiming their opposition to the property taxes which will take €500 million out of, the pockets of low and middle income earners mainly.

· Opposing the cutbacks in public spending that have led to the loss of 30,000 jobs and reduced services.

· Organising against attempts to reduce public service pensions, allowances or conditions of work.

We believe that the reason why so many union leaders have been reluctant to fight the government with any real determination is that they are members of the Labour Party.

We call for an end to all union funding of Labour Party and urge members of relevant unions to notify their head offices of their desire to cease making a contribution from their dues to this party.

Finally, we believe that it is time to return to proper, real unions that stand up for their members.

We call for a withdrawal from the current round of talk designed to worsen the already draconian terms of the Croke park agreement.

ICTU DayofAction All Locations

Protest on Feb 9th

Lift the Burden – Jobs Not Debt

Ireland makes up less than 1% of Europe’s population, but are expected to repay debt of €64 billion – far bigger than the bank debt of major powers like Germany, the UK and Spain.

We comprise a tiny fraction of the European economy but have pumped more into our banks than any other EU state.

  • So far, the average EU citizen has paid €192 to cover the cost of their bust banks.
  • But our bank bailout has cost every Irish citizen almost €9000 – nearly 50 times the EU average!
  • And we are expected to pay more!

Our bank bailout prevented the collapse of the European banking system and probably saved the Euro.

The whole EU benefited, but we are expected to foot the €64 billion bill alone.

The bank debt burden is unsustainable and unjust. It will cripple us for generations to come.

No matter what sacrifices we make, or how ‘competitive’ we become, there is no hope of recovery until this burden is lifted.

We must act now and send a clear message across Europe. Join the National Protests on Saturday, February 9 (assemble 1.30pm).

Assembly Point

DUBLIN: Cook Street (near Civic Offices, Wood Quay);

CORK: SIPTU offices, Connolly, Hall Lapps Quay;

GALWAY: Cathedral Car Park; LIMERICK: Mechanics

Institute, Harstonge Street; WATERFORD: The Glen (in front  of the Forum); SLIGO: Sligo County Council Offices, Riverside

The heckling of union leaders at marches is a serious issue that needs far more discussion on the left. To cheer-lead it is very mistaken. Yes, a factor is a genuine angry response from “ordinary workers” to the lack of action, and indeed past actions, of the trade union leaders. Union leaders who have been on the receiving end of heckling and booing need to realise that there are consequences attached to their “brave” decisions to support unpopular cutbacks and climb downs. They need to end their aristocratic outrage at being crudely criticised by the Democracy. But by what proportion has this factor (the noble mob) featured in the actual incidents? Among the most active hecklers, even where leaders from the left sought to defuse the heckling, there were some political activists and members of left organisations.

For the organised left there are two questions: how can we call on the union leaders to take actions and when they do support a march, put money into it, and join the platform, then tolerate, support or even encourage a verbal barrage against them on that occasion? Furthermore, how can we co-operate with all stages of the organisation of a march, jointly organise a march in fact, and then tolerate, support or even encourage a verbal barrage against some of the speakers agreed as part of the organisation of the march? What game is being played?

Secondly we need to ask if it is a good thing that we now have a situation where trade union leaders – of any hue – cannot address a public rally without being shouted down? To begin with, the recent barracking, at the CAHWT National Stadium rally and at the 24th November anti-austerity march, was the product of, or plugged into, an ignorance of the trade union movement, its configuration and its recent history. The speaker in the first case was Mick O’Reilly (a supporter of CAHWT) and in the second was Eugene McGlone. As it happens both together were the joint subjects of a high-profile case of victimisation by their own union leadership, with the possible involvement of figures outside their union, related to supporting workers in struggle and their general oppositional stance in the movement. Barracking Eugene McGlone as if he was a centrally influential member of the executive of the ICTU was like pillorying the robbed rather than the robber. That educated socialists should collaborate with this ignorance is disappointing.

In any case, the substantial question for the left is whether it is a good situation or principle that trade union leaders effectively cannot speak in public in Dublin at this time without being barracked? Let’s leave over–the-top talk of fascism aside. The question does touch on a growing contention that the union leaders are the enemy, or an enemy (the main facilitators/agency of privatisation and austerity), rather than a conservative bureaucracy within the workers’ movement subject to pressure from the members below as well as from the employers and the state. Presuming the latter, as I do, means that, especially in a phase like the present when independent action at shop floor level is unlikely, moving or persuading or assisting union leaders to lead the members in some kind of fight back is important. The involvement of the leaders, and therefore of the official structures, authority and resources of the trade unions, is to be worked for, not their banishment from the streets. Rather than quietly smiling at the hectoring or even egging it on the left needs to tackle it among its members and supporters and provide some tactical and historical education to its followers. Rather than the shallow but ineffective satisfaction of shouting down union leaders in O’Connell Street the left should, as it does only sporadically, challenge union leaders where it matters, in the unions, at union branches, general meetings and conferences, organising majorities, or influential minorities, to overturn the uninterrupted dominance of officialdom.

DD 20-01-13

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