Dec 27 2020

THE TRADE UNION BUREAUCRACY AND UNIONISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND

This article, originally posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland), highlights the ineffectiveness  of the ICTU Northern Committee and trade union bureaucracy working within the parameters of the existing unionist state when it when it comes to protecting workers’ jobs, pay and condition.

 

THE TRADE UNION BUREAUCRACY AND UNIONISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND

 

UNITE offices in Belfast

 

If the Irish Congress of Trade Unions through its partnership with the state is the creature of imperialism in the South, the same is glaringly apparent in the North.  Historically, no imperialist atrocity was ever great enough for them to go beyond carefully ‘balanced’ statements, or to take any consistent action in defence of oppressed working-class communities.  They stuck strictly to ‘workplace issues’ and their perception of ‘workers interests’ were unfailingly expressed as cries for a peace coupled to imperialist stabilisation and investment.  Now that the impact of imperialist decline in the industrial heartland of the north east reveals that imperialism owes workers nothing their response is one of paralysis.. Continue reading “THE TRADE UNION BUREAUCRACY AND UNIONISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND”

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Dec 09 2020

NEWRY, MOURNE AND DOWN COUNCIL WORKERS’ STRIKE

 

 

With employers using Covid-18 to attack workers’ jobs, pay and conditions, there has been the beginnings of a fightback. This article first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland) looks at the strike action taken by council workers in Newry, Mourne and Down council.

 

NEWRY, MOURNE AND DOWN COUNCIL WORKERS’ STRIKE

 

workers in Newry, Mourne and Down (NMD) took strike action on Thursday December 3rd, following an overwhelming vote for action by workers in Siptu, UNITE, GMB and Nipsa. The council merger which saw the creation of the super council has been used as an opportunity to attempt to lower pay and undermine conditions. Now, using the pandemic and a notional ‘financial responsibility’ as an excuse, the council management are attempting to press home their planned destruction of pay grading procedures and reduce wages to the lowest parameter of a pay scale which varies across the merged council areas. Refuse workers alone face losses of up to £2,500 per year. As a means of imposing these cuts a previously agreed objective job evaluation process has arbitrarily been dispensed with and a new one with no right of appeal and headed by an individual manager has been introduced. The new system ignores workers’ contracts prior to the council amalgamation and the legal transfer of undertakings regulations. Continue reading “NEWRY, MOURNE AND DOWN COUNCIL WORKERS’ STRIKE”

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Jun 13 2020

JUSTICE FOR GRENFELL

It is 3 years since the tragic deaths of 72 people at Grenfell Towers. This video Justice for Grenfell was produced by Edinburgh Trade Union Council, the FBU, UNITE and the Living Rent campaign.

 

 

also see:-

DEMOCRACY BURNS DOWN

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Jul 16 2019

BRIAN HIGGINS – A PERSONAL AND POLITICAL TRIBUTE

 

 

Communist, Republican, Trade Union Militant,

Scottish Internationalist, Glasgow Bear

 9th February 1941 – 2nd June 2019

 

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BRIAN HIGGINS

A PERSONAL AND POLITICAL TRIBUTE

Brian made a big impression upon whomever he met. Nigel Jeffrey, who encountered him on the picket line during the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike wrote, “Brian Higgins stands out because he was 6′ 6″ plus… He was a big lad as broad as he was tall… There must have been half a dozen police went for this Brian Higgins and snatched him… He was shoving them off left, right and centre.” [1] Continue reading “BRIAN HIGGINS – A PERSONAL AND POLITICAL TRIBUTE”

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Feb 08 2019

A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER

 

A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER

Photo showing Brian Higgins on a picket at the furthest left – where else!

 

Brian Higgins, a militant in the building industry, first in UCATT and later in UNITE, has been taken into hospital. Brian has been the most blacklisted worker in the UK. For many years before he would have retired, he was unable to get work. This put immense pressure both on Brian and his family, particularly his ever-supportive wife, Helen. Following the public exposure of the blacklist in the building industry, Brian found strong evidence of collaboration between the employers and a UCATT official in his blacklisting. That official cited in a redacted document was Jerry Swain. Continue reading “A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BRIAN HIGGINS, BLACKLISTED BUILDING WORKER”

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Aug 27 2018

OPEN LETTER AND PETITION TO LEN McCLUSKEY

We have revived this open letter and petition from Ian Allinson of UNITE Grassroots Left. It calls upon UNITE members to reject Len McCluskey’s call for the Labour Party to adopt the IHRA definition anti-semitism.

 

OPEN LETTER AND PETITION TO LEN McCLUSKEY

We the undersigned call on you to oppose the adoption by the Labour party of those IHRA examples of antisemitism that would threaten legitimate support for justice for Palestinians.

We were concerned to read in his blog post for Huffington Post on 16 August that our General Secretary, Len McCluskey, while explaining clearly why some were problematic, argued that “It would be for the best if all eleven [of the IHRA examples] were now agreed, so the party can move on”.

The IHRA working definition of antisemitism is just 38 words and unproblematic. It was adopted by the Labour Party some time ago. The IHRA added 11 examples of what it says antisemitism “could, taking into account the overall context, include”. Continue reading “OPEN LETTER AND PETITION TO LEN McCLUSKEY”

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Dec 10 2017

BOMBARDIER-BOEING DISPUTE THREATENS WORKERS IN THE NORTH

Bombardier is a Canadian owned aircraft company which employs 4000 people in Belfast. At the moment these workers’ jobs, pay and conditions  are threatened as an outcome  of growing American protectionism, reflected through the Northern Irish political set-up, which hamstrings any effective trade union response. This consequences of this are explained in this article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) 

 

BOMBARDIER-BOEING DISPUTE THREATENS WORKERS IN NORTH

 

Bombardier aerospace factory Belfast

 

The ongoing dispute between aerospace companies Bombardier and Boeing – which has raised fears over future of production at Bombardier’s Belfast facility – has served to highlight the highly integrated nature of modern capitalism and the exposure of the Northern Ireland economy to global upheavals. Continue reading “BOMBARDIER-BOEING DISPUTE THREATENS WORKERS IN THE NORTH”

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Jul 07 2017

ADDRESS TO THE LEFT UNITY CONFERENCE ON JUNE 24th

Allan Armstrong was delegated at the RISE National Forum held in Edinburgh on 8th April to be its representative at the LUP conference on May 20th. Due to the General Election this was postponed to June 24th. Attached is the full version of the talk he prepared for the conference held in London. In the event, because of time constraints, the oral version was slightly abridged.

This was first posted on the LUP blog:- http://leftunity.org/rise-speaker-addresses-lu-conference/

ADDRESS TO THE LEFT UNITY CONFERENCE ON JUNE 24th

I would like to thank the LUP for providing me with the time to address your conference as a visiting representative from RISE. Many of you here today are old enough to remember the heyday of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), which had a considerable impact throughout the UK. The SSP united the overwhelming majority of socialists in Scotland and at its height had 6 MSPs. It inspired the Socialist Alliance (SA) in England and Wales. Although the SP and the SWP managed to sabotage the SA, the SSP’s downfall was an almost entirely Scottish affair. This can be largely laid at the feet of a certain Tommy Sheridan.

After 2004, socialists in Scotland were very divided. IndyRef1, though, provided an opportunity for socialists to regain political influence. Young socialists, largely unaffected by ‘Tommygate’, initiated the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) in 2012. This coalition, or united front, brought together, not only many of the previously divided socialists, but the Left in the SNP and the Greens and a majority not involved in any party. Continue reading “ADDRESS TO THE LEFT UNITY CONFERENCE ON JUNE 24th”

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Dec 17 2016

REACTIONARY UNIONISM SHOWS ITS TRUE COLOURS

We are posting two more articles from the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) highlighting entrenched corrupt and sectarian nature of the Stormont set-up.

1.  THE STORMONT RHI SCANDAL AND THE CALLS FOR RESIGNATION

WHY STOP AT ARLENE?

 

At a cost to the public purse of almost  £500 million there is no doubting the level of corruption and maladministration surrounding the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. The scheme was devolved to Stormont even though the British already had a functioning system. The criteria were altered so that a scheme meant to save energy became one where the more fuel you burnt the greater the subsidies and where costs could expand without limit.
Continue reading “REACTIONARY UNIONISM SHOWS ITS TRUE COLOURS”

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Jul 16 2016

BREXIT – VIEWS FROM IRELAND

We are posting two pieces from Ireland in the aftermath of the UK Brexit vote. The first is by D.R. O’Connor Lysaght, a member of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) written soon after the result was announced. The second is a collective statement from Socialist Democracy (Ireland). 

1. BREXIT – THE HANGOVER

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The good news is that the British electorate has dealt a major blow to the liberal capitalist consensus that has guide the politics of western (and, from 1991, eastern) Europe since the Second World War. How bad the damage is uncertain, nonetheless Brexit has brought to the surface a crisis comparable to that which destroyed the Soviet Union. The citizens of the country with the second strongest economy in the European Union have voted to leave it. This is a serious vote of no confidence in the status quo.
Continue reading “BREXIT – VIEWS FROM IRELAND”

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