Why the unions must fight

The resounding rejection of Croke Park II by public sector workers presented an important opportunity for working class people to challenge and defeat the austerity agenda.

The resounding rejection of Croke Park II by public sector workers presented an important opportunity for working class people to challenge and defeat the austerity agenda.

Yet scandalously, a majority of the trade union leaders have squandered this opportunity spending the weeks since the deal was rejected with the LRC openly assisting the government to meet their austerity target of €1 billion in cuts to pay, conditions and public services!

The Croke Park II “sell-out” that is being concocted is just the latest example of the rotten role played by the right wing union leaders. They see their role, not primarily to defend their members’ interests, but to help the government manage the economic crisis – i.e. to help them implement austerity whilst keeping a so-called industrial peace.

Whatever proposal comes from the new LRC “process” must be rejected by public sector workers as it will still be based on achieving €1 billion in cuts. The reasons you voted No the first time will still apply.

There should be no deal, no sell out and no cuts. What we need is a fight back against austerity and a trade union movement that puts defending working class people’s interests above all else.

The Bus Eireann strike was suspended after two days to allow for talks. It was the strike that brought management back to the table – and the strike and the picket lines should have been maintained while the negotiations went on to force the company and the government to back down from their threat to cut workers pay. This is ABC trade unionism, as was practised by the founders of the movement Connolly and Larkin.

The striking down by the Supreme Court of the Registered Employment Agreements is a signal for savage attacks on the wages and conditions of workers. The unions must be prepared for battles to defend pay and conditions and stop the race to the bottom.

There is a generalised assault on working class people. The austerity agenda is pushing many over the edge. A majority rejected Croke Park because they simply have nothing more to give. Cuts upon cuts and now the Property Tax mean that for working class people austerity reached its limits a long time ago.

There needs to be a united fight back against the austerity agenda in all of its guises. If this doesn’t happen then many will go under, lose their homes and be impoverished just to meet the greed of bankers and bondholders.

If you are disillusioned by the role of the trade union leaders then come to this public meeting and participate in a real discussion and debate on how we can organise a fight back against austerity, whilst also challenging to change and transform the unions back into what they were intended to be – organisations of struggle for the rights of working class people.


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