SF and the unions… and what about unions more broadly? January 18, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
The Phoenix has a pretty positive profile of newly elected SF TD Louise O’Reilly who seems to be working hard in Dublin Fingal. I liked her riposte to one FFer in the Dáil Chamber, where presumably when given out to about SF policy in the North responded:
If you’re that concerned about the North go up there and bring your policies with you.
Fair point. More broadly her election – and background as an active trade unionist – would seem to be very good for the party (and always good to have more active union members in the Dáil, full stop). But the Phoenix points to an important point when it says:
For SF O’Reilly’s election is hopefully the harbinger of greater trade union involvement for the party. But it is one thing to attract energetic young grade unionists individually to join the party and become Dáil reps for it, it is another to forge the close working relationships with he trade union movement as a whole that is a key aspiration of SF.
This is a serious issue, because the absurdly close links with the Labour Party have left the unions utterly compromised in a context where the LP is a shadow of its former self. And one has to wonder whether those same unions wouldn’t prefer to cosy up to FF rather than establish links with SF.
Just on unions more broadly no surprise to discover that in my own workplace where I’ve been since the early 2000s I’m one of a diminishing band of union members. A very diminishing band. People in their twenties and thirties just aren’t joining and those who are older are moving towards or have arrived at retirement. Leaving a group of us in our forties and fifties and early sixties at the barricades. Given that this is a PS employer I’d be curious as to the experience of others? Does that mirror the dynamics elsewhere in the PS? If so I cannot but blame the unions for yet again letting their eye drift away from the ball. Firstly in the 1990s and 2000s they made little or no effort (I know this from direct experience) to unionise the private sector. And now, with that well lost at this point there’s the PS.
I’d have to wonder whether if SF did manage to establish formal links with the unions whether there’ll be much of a membership left to establish those links with.