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Conference – A Century of Workers in Struggle 1913-2013 February 19, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.

From the organisers

2013 will see the centenary of perhaps the most significant event in Irish Industrial History, the 1913 Lockout. This anniversary offers an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the struggles of workers in the past, and on the challenges facing workers today, both in Ireland and abroad.

To that end, Sinn Fein have organised a major conference early this year in Dublin to consider all the key issues workers faced today and in the past.

The conference, entitled ‘A Century of Workers in Struggle 1913-2013’ is to take place on March the 2nd, 2013 in Liberty Hall in Dublin.

The Conference will hear from many of Ireland’s key Trade Union leaders such as Jack O’Connor, Jimmy Kelly, Peter Bunting and John Douglas, journalists such as Eamon Dunphy, Frank Connolly and Gerry Flynn, workers from the Vita Cortex, Visteon, Lagan Brick and Waterford Crystal disputes, International Union Leaders, Siobháin O’Donoghue from the MRCI, writers such as Brian Hanley and Conor McCabe, Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald, and more.

The full line-up and brochure for the event is attached

This is a public event, and trade unionists, political activists, and member of the public are all very welcome to attend.

The details of the event are also available on Facebook

Please also note that stalls from Trade Unions, NGOs, Historical Societies and other bodies are welcome, so please feel free to contact us if you are interested.

Full brochure of conference: Workers Rights Conference 02-03 Brochure

Mail Attachment


1. Mark P - February 19, 2013

It’s interesting that SF are doing this.

It’s also interesting that they seem to be courting the top union bureaucrats – Nobody who is likely to put the boot in is on the panel with Bunting, O’Connor etc. Hopefully Conor will take the opportunity to lay into them earlier in the day.


Jolly Red Giant - February 19, 2013

Yes indeed – given that SF opposed the workers in 1913 and hung on the coat tails of Martin Murphy and his henchmen – also the fact that they are attempting to suck up to the likes of O’Connor and Bunting (can they keep a straight face when talking about struggle) – maybe they are preparing for government and doing more deals with the union heads.


Blissett - February 19, 2013

I think whatever guff Griffith came out with in 1913 is of very little relevance. I don’t think its especially surprising that SF would invite the leaders of the Trade Unions to an event like this, and to be fair, Douglas and Kelly wouldn’t be exactly of the same mind or approach as O’Connor etc.
And to be fair, its no harm giving a platform to ordinary workers from vita cortex, lagan brick, Waterford Crystal as well.


Mark P - February 19, 2013

The historical stance of SF on 1913 is surely some relevance at an SF event commemorating 1913, even if its not generally something anyone would be too likely to care about.

Like you, I don’t think it’s surprising that SF would invite the union leaders. I don’t think that we have to start talking about them preparing for government to understand it either. The union leaders share SF’s verbal opposition to austerity, and SF have long harboured a desire for a closer relationship with them. Both at the expense of Labour and also as a way of getting some leverage on Labour, in terms of SF’s longer term hopes to acquire Labour as a junior ally.

I also don’t think it’s surprising that they are going to provide the union leaders with a platform to speechify without direct challenge.


Dr.Nightdub - February 19, 2013

“The historical stance of SF on 1913 is surely some relevance at an SF event commemorating 1913, even if its not generally something anyone would be too likely to care about.”

That’s a bit harsh considering 1913 Griffith-led SF bore little or no relation to post-1917 de Valera-led SF, bar the brand name. SF as a party re-invented itself then and several times since, so by the same token Adams’ non-abstentionist SF of today would, in turn, bear little relation to de Valera’s very-abstentionist SF post-1917, again bar the brand name.

Although one could always point to Martin McGuinness shaking the queen’s hand as being indicative of SF returning to its original monarchist roots…


WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2013


Yep, I’d agree. It’s always seemed to me that a way of looking at SF is organisations that share the same name sequentially, and even some or many of the same members, being radically different at various stages along the way. And even then, the historical continuity of pre-1917 and post 1917 SF, or perhaps even more obvious from our perspective, that of 1968 SF and say 1986 SF is if not shaky, then questionable…


Ciarán - February 19, 2013

But they do claim an unbroken continuity from 1905, (as do RSF for what it’s worth).


WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2013

I know, I know 🙂 unwise on their part


2. Garibaldy - February 19, 2013

Am I the only one to raise a slight smile at someone advertised as “former Irish Independent” on the poster for this event?

Looks like an interesting event.


3. ejh - February 19, 2013

Eamon Dunphy?


Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 19, 2013

Yes. He reckons Larkin was a good leader, but not a great leader.


Blissett - February 19, 2013



4. CL - February 19, 2013

Terry O’Sullivan, one of the speakers, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, has attracted some criticism from some left groups because of his support for the Keystone pipeline. There was a large demo against it at the weekend in Washington.
Obama will decide. Which way?


jc - February 20, 2013

In fairness to Terry O’Sullivan and the Laborers Union, this issue is not necessarily black-and-white. Not building the pipeline does NOT mean that this oil won’t be extracted — the Canadians will simply build a different pipleline that goes to the Pacific coast rather that the Gulf of Mexico and will export the oil to China or other Asian countries. Consequently, it’s by no means clear that stopping the pipeline reduces carbon emissions in the long term. From an American trade union perspective, the pipeline has the benefit of creating long-term employment in refining and related activities (admittedly, this is unquantifiable, but it would defy common sense to suggest that refining an additional 700,000 barrels of oil a day would not create jobs). From a global perspective, it could be argued that the world is a safer place if the US is less dependent on oil from the Middle East, as the US would have less incentive to intervene in the region and would be less beholden to some of the more unsavory governments in the region, such as Saudi Arabia. The XL pipeline would be a modest but meaningful conribution to the long-term goal of making North America energy-independent, which would be a good thing for global stability.


5. justinohagan@hotmail.com - February 20, 2013

Looks interesting. I hope they can spend some time explaining how SF is opposed to austerity in one part of the island while signing off on it in the part of the island where they are in government.


Jim Monaghan - February 20, 2013

I disagree with SF being in a so-called government. But there point is that it is really a County Council with little or no power. So they are administrating as best they can in that context. To be consistent the left should refuse ant mayoral or exec. positions in local government.
Mind you down here the Troika are the real government and the FF/Labour thing is just a County Council.


6. Blissett - February 27, 2013

Video Promoting the event


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