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Workers rights October 3, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Can’t quite work out is the author here being entirely serious, it’s certainly a shift from her usual political positions – and btw thanks to the person who forwarded. And yet, there are a range of good points made in it, not least the one about the particularly precarious world of journalism in relation to contracts and so on (which came up here in discussion yesterday).

Certainly she’s got a point when it comes to the following:

So as a political principle there shouldn’t be any challenge to the idea that public transport deserves public money. Obviously that shouldn’t be used as an excuse for poor practice, but neither should the financial standards of commercialism and the increasingly poor employment practices of the private sector become a stick with which to beat our bus and rail companies. If the public sector is to be the last bastion of secure employment with benefits for ordinary workers and not the preserve of the executive classes, then that should be cherished not torn apart.

But the thoughts at the end are particularly on the nose, for Stephen Kinsella in the SBP this weekend was suggesting that there was a problem in relation to wage increases in the commercial semi-states setting a pace for public sector proper wages (and notably doesn’t bother to address the chronic underfunding of public transport in this state instead wandering off down the old ‘reform’ road, all the while proclaiming his wish not to lapse into right wing ideologue stylee). And yet, and yet the thought struck me, independently of Sarah Carey, that that problem – if he seriously wanted it addressed on the terms he presents it, could be rectified if said jobs in Dublin Bus etc were fully in the orbit of the state. Indeed all the ‘commercial semi-states’ could likewise and then be subject to PS-style provisions (and waste and other services provision which has been hived off to the private sector fully). But that, of course, would necessitate a slightly different reform – one where the state, and Ministers had to take responsibility for those workers. And that’s one reform I suspect we won’t be hearing Kinsella calling for. And she sort of references this too:

There must be a way to win back our right to manage that which we own. Politicians have been complicit in allowing themselves to be reformed to the point of impotence. Having legislated away their powers, they see themselves free of blame. But they can’t see that without power, like media workers, their labour has lost value. Transport Minister Shane Ross may relish his refusal to intervene, but he might reflect that one day, like us, he’ll have to fight for his own relevance.


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