jump to navigation

Bob Crow: Partisan of the Working Class March 11, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in Trade Unions.

Bob Crow with SeanBob Crow with Sean Garland at the Jim Connell festival in May 2010

Interview with Bob Crow from LookLeft

Tragic news from London of the death of the RMT general secretary Bob Crow at the age of 52. Bob Crow was an inspirational union leader, a determined defender of public services, and an unabashed communist. He was an incredibly effective leader of the RMT, growing the union, and achieving a great deal for its members. But his defence of standards in public transport was about much more than the interests of his members. It was not just about public safety. It was also about his vision of society and public responsibility. It was a consequence of his socialism. His opposition to the neo-liberal agenda of the EU saw Crow help form the No2EU campaign. He was never someone trapped in a simply trade union consciousness: he understood that the struggle for workers’ rights and a better society was an economic and a political one, that needed waged on all fronts.

The enemies of the working class knew the value of Bob Crow, resulting in a consistent campaign of vilification, led by the Daily Mail. Only yesterday, he was asked to defend his salary on BBC Radio, and happily did so. His members knew his value to the union, just as the Tories did.

Bob Crow took a keen interest in progressive causes across the globe, and especially in Ireland. He and the RMT opposed the extradition of Sean Garland, actively supported the Jim Connell festival in Meath, and recently co-sponsored the publication of John Callow’s James Connolly and the Re-Conquest of Ireland. We in The Workers’ Party will never forget the support given by Bob Crow and the RMT.

His own description of Connolly stands as a memorial to Bob Crow.

a leader of enormous integrity, bravery and vision

Locked out February 27, 2013

Posted by doctorfive in media, Trade Unions.


Perhaps it will get a proper airing later in the year

ICTU Calls for an End to Protests and Condemns Attempted Murder of Police Officer December 12, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Trade Unions.
1 comment so far


Speaking after the attempted murder of a PSNI officer and the ongoing disruption on our streets, Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU said:

“The NIC-ICTU condemns the attempted murder of a police officer last night, as she protected the office of an MP who is, in turn, under threat.

“The trade unions further call for a complete halt to all protests, pickets, and violent and verbal attacks related to the issues of flags, on any building in Northern Ireland.

“We also call on the elected representatives in the NI Assembly and local government to suspend motions calling for the raising or lowering of flags with immediate effect.

“At last, the leader of one of the main unionist parties has called for the end of street protests related to flags, but others still repeat that protests are all right as long as they are ‘peaceful’, ‘dignified’ and ‘good-humoured’.

“The trade union movement has years of experience of bringing people onto the streets to protest against violence from all perpetrators, and for equality and justice, but there are rules that we follow. The first rule is the priority of the safety of all who participate and who witness the protest – No one gets hurt. That means dealing with the civic authorities well in advance and ensuring that the protest is well-stewarded by competent people who are clearly identifiable. We always co-operate in advance with the PSNI, Road Service, Translink, local government and anyone else who may be affected, to ensure that the first rule is obeyed, and everyone goes home safely.

“Calling for others to take to the streets and then walking away from the consequences is the act of a coward.

“In the past week, we have seen attacks on public buildings, on the homes and offices of public representatives and on the police. There has been an escalation in sectarian attacks. An MP is living in fear for her life. Sinister men are working in the background and an identifiable fascist is cheered at the gates of Belfast City Hall.

“This is not a ‘crisis’ of Irishness, Britishness or cloth. This is a crisis of our democracy and our society’s willingness to listen to facts and not self-serving myths about identity.”

SIPTU: Charting a New Economic Course November 20, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Trade Unions.

A Left-friendly email service provider? October 15, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Capitalism, Community, Ethics, Internet, Other Stuff, Society, Trade Unions, Workers Rights.

Hi Folks,

My main email account has been with ireland.com since the 1990s. Today they sent an email to say they are closing the service in less than a month (so the domain can be transferred to Tourism Ireland).

I could simpy transfer everything to my back-up gmail account, and may do that simply to ensure that I have the data. However, I was wondering of any readers of CLR know of a Left-friendly email service provider?

So, what would be Left-friendly? My ideal would be one run as a co-op, and I wouldn’t mind paying for that, but I’ve no notion if there are any or if any I might find thrpugh an internet search are secure or reliable. My second preference would be one run by a company that recognises unions. (When I got my first mobile phone, I checked with the CWU to see which providers recognised it and/or other unions. The initial reply gave me a list of companies where the union has members, but I did get an answer the specific question a few days later. I don’t know how often the union gets a query like that.)



Dear Account Holder,

The Irish Times and Tourism Ireland today announced a digital content cooperation agreement to promote Ireland as a tourist destination. The agreement spans a number of areas, including the sale of the ireland.com domain name to Tourism Ireland. Tourism Ireland will use the ireland.com url to attract more web traffic and enhance the promotion of Ireland overseas.

As a result, we wish to inform our @ireland.com email subscribers that the service will be discontinued from November 7th, 2012. From midnight on this date, you will no longer be able to send or receive messages. You will, however, be able to access your account until December 7th for the purpose of transferring any data (i.e. emails, tasks, documents, appointments and/or contacts) currently saved on your account. We are writing to advise you of this change and to ensure the transition to a new service provider is as seamless as possible.

To aid the transition, we have provided a step-by-step guide and FAQs on ireland.com and a helpline has been established to assist wherever possible. The helpline will operate between 8am and 8pm weekdays on telephone 1890 876 666 or 01 685 6999 or email customerservice@digitalworx.ie .

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our valued customers.

John O’Shea

Head of Online, The Irish Times

Garda body seeks trade union rights July 20, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Human Rights, Labour relations, Trade Unions.

[Cedar Lounge Revolution isn't a news site, but it looks like we may be the first to report on a development that has been made public in recent days. I haven't seen this reported in any news media, and I coudn't find any reference to it in searches, including on the GRA, AGSI and EuroCOP websites.]

A legal compalint has been lodged against Ireland for its refusal to allow members of An Garda Síochána join a trade union.

The complaint has been brought under a human rights charter at the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe.

The European Confederation of Police (EuroCOP) lodged the legal challenge in June with the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), a parallel structure to the European Court of Human Rights. The legal challenge was made public by the ECSR on Wednesday.

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 states that “a member of the Garda Síochána shall not be or become a member of any trade union”. It allows gardaí to form staff associations without full trade union status. The two main bodies established for that purpose are the Garda Representative Association (GRA) and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI)

The document initiating the legal challenge states that the staff associations do not have access to the Labour Court or the Labour Relations Commission. “The police associations are not allowed to join an umbrella organisation such as ICTU. This means that the police organisations are kept out of the overall negotiations that ICTU conduct on behalf of their members, such as those on salaries”, EuroCOP says.

The Irish law is alleged to breach three articles of the Revised European Social Charter: the right to organise, the right to bargain collectively, and the right to information and consultation.

The case is being taken by EuroCOP on behalf of the AGSI because complaints against a state must be taken by a European organisation registered with the Council of Europe.


Mother Jones Festival, Cork, 31st July – 2nd August July 16, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Commemoration, History, Trade Unions, United States.
1 comment so far

The 175th anniversary of the birth of the legendary trade union activist and “Miner’s Angel”, Mary Harris Jones is being celebrated in Cork by the Mother Jones Festival, following a motion from Ted Tynan (WP) for a memorial to her to be erected being passed by the City Council. The website of the broad-based committee responsible for putting together the Festival is here. The Festival has a wide range of sponsors, including the City Council, SIPTU and UNITE.

Highlights from the very impressive programme include

31st July with Irish premier of film “Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman” with talk by film producer and writer Rosemary Feurer (USA).

1st August Opening of the Mother Jones Exhibition on 1st August at 12.15pm at the Firkin Crane Centre

1st August, the Inaugural mother Jones lectures and discussion with Prof. Elliott J. Gorn (Brown University), whose books include Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America and Marat Moore, herself a former coal miner, union activist and writer. She was a founder of the Daughters of Mother Jones who played a big role in the Pittston Mine Strike in 1989, and is the author of Women in the Mines.

1st August Official Unveiling of the Mother Jones plaque at John Redmond Street

1st August “Freedom Bells” concert with Andy Irvine

Full details of the various events and venues can be found in the programme.

Dublin Dockworkers’ photographic exhibition launch in Liberty Hall, 7pm 9th May May 8, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Irish History, Trade Unions.

SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, will launch the Dublin Dockworkers’ Preservation Society photographic exhibition in Liberty Hall on Wednesday, 9th May, at 7.00 p.m.

SIPTU is hosting the photographic exhibition as part of the 2012 May Day celebrations in Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin, from Wednesday 9th May to Wednesday 16th May.

The exhibition of 40 photographs and over 500 slides features images of life and work on the Dublin Docks from 1940 to 1990.

Also speaking at the launch is Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society spokesman Declan Byrne, and labour historian Padraig Yeates.

All are encouraged to come along and enjoy this unique celebration of Dublin’s working class history.

Protest Rally Called by members of the Teachers Unions -Tuesday 27th March at Teachers Club, Parnell Square March 22, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Education, Trade Unions.

Thought this might be of interest

At the emergency meeting that was held by the Dublin West Branch a couple of weeks ago it was decided that some action should be taken to start to bring all teachers together be they permanent, part-time or students. We have been working hard over the last number of weeks in trying to bring together various activists in the three teachers unions. We have now with their help set up a large protest rally on the 27th of March in the teachers club on Parnell Square Dublin at 8.30pm. This is rally is OPEN TO ALL TEACHERS REGARDLESS OF UNION, BRANCH OR SCHOOL Please find attached the leaflet that we have produced for the rally. Please do try to make it along to the Rally if at all possible, but also please print it, photocopy it and spread it around your staff room and if you can email it as far and wide as possible to any contacts that you have that would be a great help. The bigger the attendance we get the bigger impact we will have in trying to defend ourselves and our students from these disastrous austerity measures.

ASTI Fightback

Alex Ferguson Phones Vita Cortex Workers with Support February 14, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Trade Unions.
1 comment so far

Spotted this on LookLeft’s Facebook page.

Football legend Alex Ferguson supports the Vita Cortex workers

Date Released: 13 February 2012

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson made a surprise phone call to the Vita Cortex workers on Monday (13th February) afternoon to tell them he supported their fight and to “stick in there” until they secured victory. The football legend, and committed trade unionist, expressed his admiration and support for the workers’ stand for justice. He told the workers that he had been involved in the apprentice strikes in the Clyde ship yards in Glasgow in 1961 and that he understood what they are going through in their battle to secure their agreed redundancy terms.

SIPTU Organiser, Anne Egar, said; “It was a magical moment to hear Alex Ferguson give his backing to the workers and reassure them that they will succeed if they stick together and fight for what is just. When someone like Alex Ferguson tells you perseverance and teamwork will see you win out it is of course a huge boost.”

Vita Cortex worker Jim Power, who spoke to Alex Ferguson, described the phone call as a “massive boost”.

“He spoke about his involvement in an apprentice boys’ strike in Glasgow in 1961 and told us to ‘stick in there. I’m a Manchester United supporter so I’m delighted but everyone here, even the Liverpool FC guys, are saying ‘fair play’.”

The phone call from Alex Ferguson was received two days after Cork city centre came to a halt as over 5,000 people marched in solidarity with the Vita Cortex workers. The march began outside the SIPTU offices at Connolly Hall, Lapps Quay, at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday (12th February), and was described by Gardaí as the largest protest in Cork in recent years.

The people of Cork applauded the Vita Cortex workers as the march made its way along Patrick’s Street ending with a rally on Grand Parade.

Addressing the rally, SIPTU Organiser Anne Egar thanked the Cork Council of Trade Unions (CCTU) for organising the event and the people of
Cork for their “support from Day One” for the workers in their struggle to secure their agreed redundancy terms.

Anne Egar said the Vita Cortex workers had shown “stamina and principle” in pursuing their fight for justice and would not succumb. She added that Vita Cortex owner, Jack Ronan, should “pay his bills and not expect everyone else to pick up his tab.”

Vita Cortex worker, Martina Anderson, told the crowd that the fight to secure their agreed redundancy payments had been hard on the workers and their families but they were determined to see justice done.

SIPTU General Secretary, Joe O’Flynn, pledged the union’s support for the workers and said all was being done to bring a just conclusion to the dispute. CCTU president Anne Piggott spoke of the workers resolve in the face of an employer who refused to honour his obligations.

The Vita Cortex workers are entering their third month occupying their former workplace on the Kinsale Road, Cork. The facility was closed on the 16th December with company management claiming they could not honour the workers agreed redundancy terms.

The Vita Cortex workers are seeking payment of an agreed ex-gratia redundancy package of 0.9 weeks per year of service. The full amount needed to fund these payments is just over €370,000.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,251 other followers

%d bloggers like this: