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Irish Left Archive: selections from Siptu Fightback, 1990s-2000 from the Struggle Archive… September 14, 2020

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive.

Mary Muldowney guests on the Irish Left Archive Podcast today and we thought it appropriate to post about one of the publications she was involved with Des Derwin, Alan MacSimóin and others in, that being Siptu Fightback which was published in the late 1990s and 2000.

If anyone has a copy they would scan or forward to us for scanning so that we can have one in the Archive we would be very grateful.

However, in the meantime here is an excellent online selection of some of the articles from SIPTU Fightback from the Struggle Archive – in itself a very useful and comprehensive online resource, and for more on that see below – which give a real flavour of the publication.

For example, Issue 9 from February 1999 had the following contents:


And here is the publications outline of their goals:

SIPTU Fightback is a newsletter for SIPTU activists who believe that the strength of our Union should be used to fight low pay, job losses, wage restraint and cheap labour grades. We think that can only be done effectively when the members have real control of their own union. Our aim is to provide a link-up for the many activists in SIPTU who want a fighting Union, but who feel isolated and powerless. We want to provide news and views, an open forum and a modest service for those activists.

We hope that this bulletin could be a small step towards the creation of a ‘solidarity network’ which can support workers in struggle for better pay, better conditions and trade union rights; win support for the repeal or radical reform of the 1990 Industrial Relations Act and for workers who defy it; win the argument against ‘social partnership’ deals which tie us to the interests of the bosses; promote greater democracy in our Union, particularly more membership involvement and decision making powers at grassroots level; support struggles of the unemployed, the poor and the oppressed and for real equality for women in the workforce.

Our editorial committee is open to broadly like-minded SIPTU members and the newsletter will be independent of all political parties. Its pages are open to views not in accord with our own. Signed articles will not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial committee. The committee members are Des Derwin, Electronics and Engineering Branch (a member of the Dublin Private Sector Regional Executive Committee); Mary Muldowney, Education Branch (who is President of her Branch) and Alan MacSimóin, Education Branch (a member of Trinity College Section Committee). We do not speak in these pages for any of the above Union bodies.

Also to be found on that webpage is the following pamphlet:

Solidarity not Social Partnership – Why SIPTU should say no to another partnership deal
Pamphlet produced for SIPTU Thursday 6th October 2005 Biennial National Conference in Cork. “Conference should vote against Motion 59 because social partnership is a lie, a rip-off and has floored our movement. SIPTU needs a new direction and a renewal as a fighting,” participatory organisation. PDF file of this text

For a full outline of the contents of the Struggle site please go here.

As it notes:

The functionality proved by struggle was replaced by indymedia and sites like Anarkismo.net. So this site is now mostly an archive with new additions limited to stuff that other sites are not suitable for. There are thousands of documents here and hundreds of photographs as well as a few still maintained sections. My intention is to maintain the site into the future principally as an archive and reference.


Struggle was a collection of web pages put up on a voluntary basis for a variety of Irish struggles the web maintainer was connected to and for Irish and international anarchist groups. It is not intended to imply any relationship between any of the organisations whom I have provided space for on this page (outside of the fact that by putting up pages for them I obviously consider them worth supporting).


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