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View Full Version : O'Connor's Alliance - New Hope for the Left or a Cynical Gambit ?



C. Flower
21-12-2014, 05:53 PM
5% and falling.

The resemblance in attitude to the Last Days of the Greens is striking. Tetchy, but self-regarding - "we know what's best"

Have the Labour top ranks decided the game is up and stopped bothering with anything other than supporting Fine Gael ?

The manoevers over the Universal Social Charge are interesting.

When SIPTU was looking like a beached whale over its failure to join the anti-water charges campaign (it would have been difficult, given SIPTU's role in negotiating terms for local authority engineers who switched to Irish Water), Jack O'Connor very belatedly, and in a qualified way, took SIPTU into the Right2Water campaign: but tried to steer the December 10th event into also being about the USC. I'm unclear if Right2Water agreed to this.

O'Connor is no fool and in my view is a malevolent and right wing influence in the labour movement. The water charge is an incendiary class issue, as it is about privatisation (who controls the natural resources of the country) and it affects everyone - working, unemployed, pensioners, children, as well as workers and trade union members. Focus on the USC would shift energies from the anti-water charge campaign and a cut in the USC could be waived about as a trophy for his efforts.

However, Pat Rabitte was having none of this and described abolition of the 4 billion a year, extremely regressive USC, as a fantasy.

Where does this leave O'Connor ? He is joined to Labour at the hip but it doesn't look as though he is likely to get much out of this.

https://www.newstalk.ie/Is-the-Universal-Social-Charge-the-next-headache-for-government

4.1 billion “would have to be changed to a more progressive tax” (O'Connor)

Newstalk
15:50 Monday 24 November 2014


The country's largest trade union says it wants to see the Universal Social Charge (USC) abolished.
SIPTU is launching a new campaign of protests against the charge in the new year.
It was introduced in Budget 2011 and replaced the health levy and income levy.
But the union says it was introduced against the background of the financial crisis, and since that is now over the charge should go.
SIPTU president Jack O'Connor told Newstalk Breakfast earlier those who earn more should pay more.


https://www.newstalk.ie/Is-the-Universal-Social-Charge-the-next-headache-for-government

Right2Water should not allow him within a light year of any decision making on how the anti-water charge campaign is run.

C. Flower
20-02-2015, 04:48 PM
For anyone interested:

CONFERENCE FRINGE MEETING:
LABOUR’S NEXT MANIFESTO
SPEAKERS:
JACK O’CONNOR, SIPTU
JOANNA TUFFY TD
FINBAR GEANEY, DUBLIN BAY NORTH
IN ELECTION 2016 LABOUR MUST STAND ALONE.
WHAT NEW POLICIES SHOULD WE PUT FORWARD?
HOW RADICAL SHOULD WE BE?
SHOULD THERE BE “RED LINE” ISSUES?
WHERE DO WE GO ON HEALTH? EDUCATION? TRANSPORT? WORKERS’ RIGHTS?

SATURDAY 28TH FEBRUARY, 5.30PM. DROMHALL HOTEL, MUCKROSS ROAD (1/2 MILE FROM CONFERENCE, TOWARDS TOWN CENTRE). ARRANGED BY LABOUR VALUES

Jack O'Connor not defected to SF yet ? Hedging his bets ?

C. Flower
20-02-2015, 05:03 PM
Perhaps there is a bidding war on between SF and Labour for the higher public servant vote (and SIPTU's contributions).

http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/33173

Seán Ryan
20-02-2015, 05:11 PM
Jack is forward thinking, He has been snuggling up to Ogle and others on the non-Labour opposition side of things, and SInn Fein I'm sure would be interested in SIPTU's contributions.

No doubts there. But most of that will still be there tomorrow. On the other hand, it's customary, if indeed not normal, for outgoing dictators to bestow titles and the like upon their most appreciated lackies at the moment of their exit from government. I'm sure Jack'd not want to miss his most deserved recognition.

As an aside, I've gone to the trouble of exploring the Crowley method on behalf of his Hellfire siblings in the Labour party.

Have yous tried running from a church at midnight screaming "May the dead arise!" at the tops of your lungs?

Apparently, if there's a graveyard at the church, the ex-taxpayers shall arise. So, if all the Labour party pick a headstone and stand there, whilst some of the party faithful do the spell, hey presto! The Labour undead.

Binn Beal
28-02-2015, 03:22 PM
I don't suppose anyone has a copy of the text of Jack O'Connor's contribution to the RTE lunchtime programme today. From memory, he told the assembled Labour Ministers (the prog was all about the Labour conference) that they needed to ditch FG and ally themselves with Sinn Fein and the independent socialists.

I can listen again on RTE Player but a transcription would be interesting as I suspect it may be a game-changer for the future of alternative politics.

C. Flower
28-02-2015, 04:08 PM
I don't suppose anyone has a copy of the text of Jack O'Connor's contribution to the RTE lunchtime programme today. From memory, he told the assembled Labour Ministers (the prog was all about the Labour conference) that they needed to ditch FG and ally themselves with Sinn Fein and the independent socialists.

I can listen again on RTE Player but a transcription would be interesting as I suspect it may be a game-changer for the future of alternative politics.

There are a couple of posts about this at the top of this page.

Jack O'Connor had an article published in An Poblacht recently, and has been having talks with various parties since before Christmas - when the very large water charge protests took place and Labour was tanking in the polls.

While I would love to see a solid left coalition, I reckon Jack's motives would not be the same as mine.

I agree it is very much worth talking about, and if you don't mind I would like to make a new thread of these posts as it goes beyond the Labour Party.

Binn Beal
28-02-2015, 05:22 PM
I think he was talking about a loose alliance rather than a 'solid left coalition' and he said stuff about it being the first time in the history of the state that the left has a chance of forming a government.

C. Flower
28-02-2015, 06:08 PM
I think he was talking about a loose alliance rather than a 'solid left coalition' and he said stuff about it being the first time in the history of the state that the left has a chance of forming a government.

He was talking about a post election coalition, so more than a loose alliance.

I will make this into a thread - I've been meaning to start one since O'Connor made moves on this at the end of last year. This was at the time he launched a campaign against the Universal Social Charge.

I believe his aim may be to knock out the "hard left" and keep Labour alive with a Labour SF coalition that, with some Independents might be able to form a Government.

C. Flower
28-02-2015, 06:22 PM
I think he was talking about a loose alliance rather than a 'solid left coalition' and he said stuff about it being the first time in the history of the state that the left has a chance of forming a government.

He was talking about a "Left and Left Republican ad socialist Alliance". He said that the left had been setting its sights far too low.

Imo, O'Connor sees an opportunity for more power and influence for himself and is one the one hand looking at SYRIZA and seeing the prospects of government, and on the other looking at how to sink the Anti-Water Charge campaign and the AAA/ PBP.


Sinn Fein National Spokesperson on Workers Rights and Trade Union engagement Senator David Cullinane has welcomed comments from SIPTU General President Jack O' Connor on the need for a left led Government and the need to address the wages and conditions of workers.

Speaking today Senator Cullinane said:
"I welcome today's comments from SIPTU General President Jack O' Connor. The political landscape is changing in Ireland and across Europe. More and more people are demanding real change and an end to conservative politics and austerity economics.

“The impact of these austerity economics by the previous and current Irish Government has been to reduce wages, reduce hours worked, undermine public services and place additional charges such as the family home tax and water charges on struggling citizens. This is unfair, unacceptable and not sustainable.
"Sinn Fein is about real change and a transformation of politics on this island. We want a fair recovery, investment in public services, decent pay and strong and robust employment rights. A new politics is possible in Ireland and across the EU. Sinn Fein is a central part of that new politics.
"Sinn Fein fully supports the need for a debt conference to address the legacy debt placed on the Irish people. We are committed to quality jobs, fair hours and an increase in the minimum wage. Next week the party will host a conference on these issues which will be addressed by ICTU General Secretary Patricia King.
“Sinn Fein is committed to forming broad alliances with like-minded parties and independents to maximise the potential for an Irish Government that is anti-austerity, committed to building a fair recovery and to delivering a republic for all its citizens"

Binn Beal
01-03-2015, 09:27 AM
Regardless of his motive - I'm not much of a psychologist - but when the Gen Sec of the country's largest union calls for a 'Left and Left-Republican and socialist alliance' I see light at the end of the tunnel.
I don't like him, I don't trust him too much but I agree with what he says here and therefore he is an ally in the heave against this austerity government.

C. Flower
01-03-2015, 10:05 AM
Regardless of his motive - I'm not much of a psychologist - but when the Gen Sec of the country's largest union calls for a 'Left and Left-Republican and socialist alliance' I see light at the end of the tunnel.
I don't like him, I don't trust him too much but I agree with what he says here and therefore he is an ally in the heave against this austerity government.

I agree with this.

I think that the political and economic circumstances - as these impact on the TU bureacracy and its interests - have pushed O'Connor to do this. I agree that whatever his political motives, even for someone to pose the need for a Left Republican / Socialist alliance is important. Also his statement that the left should set its sights on forming a left government, not perpetual opposition/right coalition At the same time as I welcome that as 100% right, I would "beware of Greeks bearing (trojan) gifts" and watch O'Connor like a hawk. Until his sea change conversion last Novermber, he did everything he could to hold back resistance to "austerity" and he is still pro privatisation (Aer Lingus).

Binn Beal
01-03-2015, 10:37 AM
It would be interesting to see how the elements that comprise Syriza got together (maybe Eli can tell us).

If SF were to invite others into such an alliance there would be suspicion from the Left (and probably opposition from the ultra-left) but coming from the SIPTU Gen Sec, it has a chance of success.

What is being talked about here is not a socialist alternative but a broader alliance of those opposed to the austerity policies of an entrenched establishment. This could include elements of the Labour Party as well as social organisations, such as trade unions, community associations and anyone else who opposes the privileged cartel that is running the country. Those who are holding out for a Socialist All-Ireland Republic with armed red guards on the streets of Dublin won't help to bring about change and may be used as in other countries to destabilise any challenge to the wealthy elite.

As regards the motives of Jack O'Connor or Gerry Adams or Clare Daly or anyone else, I treat them with the same amount of disinterest and suspicion, recalling Connolly's advice to the Citizen Army to hold on to their rifles as their allies in the Irish Volunteers mightn't be going all the way.

As your man (was it the Earl of Stafford?) said as he was about to have his head chopped off by Elizabeth I: "Put not your trust in princes."

C. Flower
01-03-2015, 10:55 AM
[QUOTE=Binn Beal;420498]It would be interesting to see how the elements that comprise Syriza got together (maybe Eli can tell us).

If SF were to invite others into such an alliance there would be suspicion from the Left (and probably opposition from the ultra-left) but coming from the SIPTU Gen Sec, it has a chance of success.

What is being talked about here is not a socialist alternative but a broader alliance of those opposed to the austerity policies of an entrenched establishment. This could include elements of the Labour Party as well as social organisations, such as trade unions, community associations and anyone else who opposes the privileged cartel that is running the country.

Are you talking about an electoral alliance - with a view to coalition ? Or practical opposition to privatisations and cuts etc ? Or both ?


Those who are holding out for a Socialist All-Ireland Republic with armed red guards on the streets of Dublin won't help to bring about change and may be used as in other countries to destabilise any challenge to the wealthy elite.

Do you mean the SWP, SP, CPI and who else ? Do you exclude them from this alliance ? (Yes, I know the SP would not go into an electoral alliance with Labour or SF, but they would take part in campaigns against privatisation etc.)


As regards the motives of Jack O'Connor or Gerry Adams or Clare Daly or anyone else, I treat them with the same amount of disinterest and suspicion, recalling Connolly's advice to the Citizen Army to hold on to their rifles as their allies in the Irish Volunteers mightn't be going all the way.

As your man (was it the Earl of Stafford?) said as he was about to have his head chopped off by Elizabeth I: "Put not your trust in princes."

Or, when swimming with sharks, wear tin swimming trunks.

Good advice from Connolly, but do you think he does not fall into the red guards category ?

morticia
01-03-2015, 02:26 PM
I have to say, this is welcome sign that the broader Left might try to get its sorry act together, Syriza style. And whatever the chequered past of our trade union leadership, their support is something a broad left alliance should really have, IMO. Giving up on unions is really pretty capitalist!

I'd agree. Cautiously optimistic about this one. And I think O'Connor is right in focussing on opposition to the USC. It is regressive.

Binn Beal
01-03-2015, 03:08 PM
Do we know who is on board yet? I suppose SF are in and Brendan Ogle's union and presumably SIPTU, even though Jack O'Connor can hardly speak for SIPTU in political matters. Has any other organisation shown enthusiasm for the venture?

C. Flower
01-03-2015, 03:22 PM
Do we know who is on board yet? I suppose SF are in and Brendan Ogle's union and presumably SIPTU, even though Jack O'Connor can hardly speak for SIPTU in political matters. Has any other organisation shown enthusiasm for the venture?

I don't know that anyone is on board. There have certainly been discussions, but also regular disagreements -

http://www.tuleftforum.com/real-trade-unionism-action-right2water/



The 1st November saw the second national protest against the water charges and the potential privatisation of what should be a guaranteed, universally available public resource. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 people took part. This follows the 100,000 who marched on 11th October as well as the daily militant class struggle being fought in communities throughout the country, led in the main by self-organised working people.
The Right2Water campaign, led by five unions of both the private and the public sector (Mandate, Unite, CPSU, CWU, and OPATSI), has provided a broad national platform for a variety of groups, parties and communities and has maintained a progressive and impressive unity, despite attempts by some to break it.
This is now clearly and without doubt the biggest and most militant mobilisation of working people this country has seen for some time. As trade unionists it is wonderful to see unions take a leading role in the national campaign and beginning to build alliances within the movement but also with community groups and tens of thousands of workers who are not members of any union.
It is not pleasant to have to draw attention to the role of the leadership of the largest union in the country, SIPTU; but while it organises for justice in society and fairness at work, its absence from a campaign where unions are actively campaigning and building towards these goals is regrettable. Many thousands of SIPTU members are active in this campaign on the ground but by the leadership not endorsing Right2Water they are playing into the hands of a right-wing Government.
The intervention by the general president of SIPTU, Jack O’Connor, the day before up to 200,000 mainly working class people marched in support of the Right2Water campaign on 1st November, was particularly unhelpful. His criticism on Newstalk (the radio station owned by Denis O’Brien) of the Right2Water campaign and calling for “realistic” policies was regrettable. Calling for concessions, such as “water tax-credits,” to placate opposition to a tax that the trade union movement in general correctly labels as regressive, only assists those seeking to undermine the momentum of a working class mobilisation not seen since the PAYE marches of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
O’Connor’s call in the wake of the mass mobilisation of 1st November for a Referendum on public control of water supply is welcomed. However, it will only be effective if it is followed up by an acceptance that the ongoing water commodification process overseen by Irish Water must be stopped immediately.


Immediately after, O'Connor launched a "campaign against the USC" which looked to me to be diversionary from the very powerful anti-water charges movement.

The water charges movement is where there is some evidence of people working together, although far from seamlessly. What has made this happen I think is the number of spontaneous groups that have been formed across the country and that no organisation of the working class could afford to ignore.

The SP instead of working with Right2Water has formed its own Non-Payment group. It is working primarily through this group and asks community groups to take part, rather than forming a joint body and working to support the community groups. This appears to be in order to try to mobilise people through SP to get SP candidates elected in the General Election.

The SP criticises Right2Water for winding down the campaign and for refusing to call on people not to pay.

But I presume everyone will be out together for the next big protest in March.

It is a messy process, but it has some real impetus a) because it is needed and b) because the Union leaderships see Labour going down the pan, and want a party/parties in government to mind their interests.

C. Flower
01-03-2015, 03:41 PM
There is also a "reclaim our (SIPTU) union" FB page. Clare Daly amongst others seems to back it.

https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimOurUnion

The campaign wants to remove SIPTU funding from Labour.

This may be another factor galvanising O'Connor.

Launchbury
03-03-2015, 12:56 AM
There is also a "reclaim our (SIPTU) union" FB page. Clare Daly amongst others seems to back it.

https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimOurUnion

The campaign wants to remove SIPTU funding from Labour.

This may be another factor galvanising O'Connor.

415 likes when there's nearly 200000 members is a drop in the ocean. Add to that a few friends of mine from social media like that page and wouldn't join SIPTU if it was the only union in the country!!

Just to note in the political fund, I read a SWP piece in the last week exhorting people to fill out the exemption form and make sure the contributions are reduced for you. Having done it myself in our workplace before, your subs don't reduce, what happens is the 60 or 70 cent annually from your yearly sub goes into the separate political fund. You will still pay the same yearly amount, but it only kicks in from the January after you sign the form as that's when the amount is transferred over.


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C. Flower
03-03-2015, 01:04 AM
[QUOTE=Launchbury;420684]415 likes when there's nearly 200000 members is a drop in the ocean. Add to that a few friends of mine from social media like that page and wouldn't join SIPTU if it was the only union in the country!!

Just to note in the political fund, I read a SWP piece in the last week exhorting people to fill out the exemption form and make sure the contributions are reduced for you. Having done it myself in our workplace before, your subs don't reduce, what happens is the 60 or 70 cent annually from your yearly sub goes into the separate political fund. You will still pay the same yearly amount, but it only kicks in from the January after you sign the form as that's when the amount is transferred over.
[quote]

It is. The way that TUs function is hard to comprehend. Is O'Connor in a job for life ? Does he have to account for himself to members ?

Launchbury
03-03-2015, 01:07 AM
He faces reelection every seven years. The mistake of a lot of union members is to be taking it as an insurance policy against bad employers instead of being actively involved in a mass movement. There's sector committees, divisional committees, national executives, district councils, not to name about five or ten other committees within Unionsbut it's generally the same few faces at them all, apathy is as big an obstacle to change than anything in the movement


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C. Flower
03-03-2015, 08:35 AM
He faces reelection every seven years. The mistake of a lot of union members is to be taking it as an insurance policy against bad employers instead of being actively involved in a mass movement. There's sector committees, divisional committees, national executives, district councils, not to name about five or ten other committees within Unionsbut it's generally the same few faces at them all, apathy is as big an obstacle to change than anything in the movement

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks . My experience of O'Connor is that he is a very smart operator and I doubt he and his friends make things easy for people who want to get rid of him get far in those structures.

The options are to get smarter than him, or to break from SIPTU and join another Union.

MediaBite
03-03-2015, 03:55 PM
I agree with this.

I think that the political and economic circumstances - as these impact on the TU bureacracy and its interests - have pushed O'Connor to do this. I agree that whatever his political motives, even for someone to pose the need for a Left Republican / Socialist alliance is important. Also his statement that the left should set its sights on forming a left government, not perpetual opposition/right coalition At the same time as I welcome that as 100% right, I would "beware of Greeks bearing (trojan) gifts" and watch O'Connor like a hawk. Until his sea change conversion last Novermber, he did everything he could to hold back resistance to "austerity" and he is still pro privatisation (Aer Lingus).

1000% agree with you about O'Connor. Wouldn't trust him to the end of this sentence. Frank Connolly was spinning for him in the latest edition of Village. Quote below signals pretty clearly that any 'left/centre left' alliance of which O'Connor would be a part would be dominated by the same thinking that's dominated his control of SIPTU - and his betrayal of labour and trade unionism:


He warned that having a wish list of demands would not suffice and that any proposals would be scrutinised in forensic detail by those who will claim that such a Left alliance could never present a viable taxation and spending programme. You can’t rebuild the health service, eradicate housing lists, provide proper pensions while abolishing all the unpopular taxes and charges at the same time, he said.

In other words its not the left he's concerned to appease but those who will claim it's not viable. Same ole, same ole. Absolutely not to be trusted.

Full article: http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2015/02/charter-2016/

C. Flower
03-03-2015, 04:03 PM
1000% agree with you about O'Connor. Wouldn't trust him to the end of this sentence. Frank Connolly was spinning for him in the latest edition of Village. Quote below signals pretty clearly that any 'left/centre left' alliance of which O'Connor would be a part would be dominated by the same thinking that's dominated his control of SIPTU - and his betrayal of labour and trade unionism:



In other words its not the left he's concerned to appease but those who will claim it's not viable. Same ole, same ole. Absolutely not to be trusted.

Full article: http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2015/02/charter-2016/

A message over our heads to his overlords to say that he is not thinking of any SYRIZA mark 2.

My personal view is that privatisation is the central issue of so-called austerity. On that, SIPTU's leadership has connived with the set up of Irish Water and flagged that it will go along with the sale of Aer Lingus if the pay-off is right.

Binn Beal
03-03-2015, 06:34 PM
It's not O'Connor's alliance. He is one of the people suggesting that SF, the parties of the left and other organisations should get their act together. How about a thread to discuss that or would that too be turned into a cult of the individual, so as to discredit it?

C. Flower
03-03-2015, 06:45 PM
It's not O'Connor's alliance. He is one of the people suggesting that SF, the parties of the left and other organisations should get their act together. How about a thread to discuss that or would that too be turned into a cult of the individual, so as to discredit it?

At the moment, unfortunately it is not anyone's alliance as Labour won't go near Sinn Fein and the Left won't go near either of them.

It is still good for it to be broached, and discussed. Talking about it helps to normalise it and to allow people to imagine a Left government. I agree with you that it should not all be couched in terms of the O'Connor threat. We are only saying (I think) that it matters what it does, as well as what it is.

Would you be in favour of an alliance if it was completely politically hobbled and tied to the Troika outlook ?

http://i.imgur.com/IUKV68T.jpg

MediaBite
03-03-2015, 07:12 PM
It matters a lot that O'Connor is clearly laying claim to a leading role in a left alliance. This is a much needed thread/discussion which hopefully will be taken up widely. He is a mainstream media darling and as such could well be hard-sold as the acceptable face of a 'soft left' alternative. Deemed by IBEC, I believe, as a 'responsible trade unionist'. There's a need to smash that bullshit portrayal of O'Connor. His recent speeches are indeed a blatantly cynical move on a growing acceptance of the leftwing perspective. Personalities shouldn't dominate but it would be naive not to recognise that the cult of O'Connor could be deployed very effectively to undermine a left alliance.

C. Flower
06-03-2015, 08:20 PM
It matters a lot that O'Connor is clearly laying claim to a leading role in a left alliance. This is a much needed thread/discussion which hopefully will be taken up widely. He is a mainstream media darling and as such could well be hard-sold as the acceptable face of a 'soft left' alternative. Deemed by IBEC, I believe, as a 'responsible trade unionist'. There's a need to smash that bullshit portrayal of O'Connor. His recent speeches are indeed a blatantly cynical move on a growing acceptance of the leftwing perspective. Personalities shouldn't dominate but it would be naive not to recognise that the cult of O'Connor could be deployed very effectively to undermine a left alliance.

In spite of all the knock backs, he was onto the case again yesterday on RTE. On his track record, O'Connor would be relied on to attempt to manage to keep things smooth for the Labour Party, keep the left out, and keep his members happy with high wages.

The deal with Irish Water does not look so hot in Trade Union terms - newly employed engineers are reportedly on one third of the salary of those SIPTU members who transferred from the Local Authorities to Irish water.

But for the individual employees who transferred, all is hunky dory as they kept their wages, terms and conditions.

This is what O'Connor is enabling.

Binn Beal
06-03-2015, 08:45 PM
If this Sinn Féin/Left alliance being discussed at their Ard Fheis? There' a mountain of stuff in their clár and I was hoping someone else would point me at any relevant motion.

C. Flower
06-03-2015, 08:54 PM
If this Sinn Féin/Left alliance being discussed at their Ard Fheis? There' a mountain of stuff in their clár and I was hoping someone else would point me at any relevant motion.

Indirectly.

Sinn Fein will be voting not to go into a "Fine Gael or Fianna Fail led government"

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-f%C3%A9in-to-pass-motion-refusing-to-enter-fg-or-ff-led-government-1.2129763

Would I be right to assume that they would go into government in which FF or FG was a minority, and are open to any other coalition prospects ?


It also calls on Sinn Féin to commit to forming “broad alliances” with like-minded parties and Independents

DCon
07-03-2015, 04:03 PM
Mandate gaffer rows in behind SF



A senior trade unionist has told the Sinn Féin ardfheis he looks forward to working with the party in government, “both north and south”.
John Douglas, Ictu president and general secretary of the Mandate union, praised Sinn Féin for what he described as its “progressive” approach.
“It gives me some heart that there’s an organisation in Ireland and a political party in Ireland fighting for those type of issues that my union has been struggling for for very many years, so I salute you for doing that,” he said in Derry.



http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/trade-union-leader-looks-forward-to-working-with-sinn-féin-in-government-1.2130819?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Binn Beal
07-03-2015, 05:40 PM
Great. Now maybe we can change the cynical thread title. How about 'Alternative Government Alliance'.

Sidewinder
07-03-2015, 05:50 PM
Indirectly.

Sinn Fein will be voting not to go into a "Fine Gael or Fianna Fail led government"

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-f%C3%A9in-to-pass-motion-refusing-to-enter-fg-or-ff-led-government-1.2129763

Would I be right to assume that they would go into government in which FF or FG was a minority, and are open to any other coalition prospects ?

As you pointed out it says


It also calls on Sinn Féin to commit to forming “broad alliances” with like-minded parties and Independents

I'd assume their first preference would be to get a load of seats bringing them up into the 50s, from where they are in striking distance of the finish line. At that point it is then up to other groups like SP/AAA, PBP, Greens if any, Daly/Wallace Indo group and so on to either get on board with the first government ever NOT to include any of FF/FG/L which would be SFs first choice....or to prop up, directly or indirectly, an FF/FG/L grand coalition.

Cos that's what the choice ultimately comes down to.

If the sectarian bolloxology the SP in particular are notorious for wins out and they can't support an alternative, then they are to blame for the subsequent FF/FG/L government and the rampant looting that will inevitably involve.

I'd imagine only in the last instance, if progressive elements cannot come to a reasonable agreement with SF; and for some reason FF/FG/L also fail to meet an agreement; would SF reluctantly consider other options involving either Lab or FF. And if none of that works out - I can imagine Lab or FF still deluded trying to assert all sorts of control over the agenda they wouldn't merit or deserve - then it'll be election #2.

Binn Beal
07-03-2015, 06:08 PM
A split in the rump of the Labour Party is also on the cards with one section open to a left alliance and the other going into Fine Gael. It might mean another couple of seats for the Alliance.

C. Flower
07-03-2015, 07:19 PM
As you pointed out it says



I'd assume their first preference would be to get a load of seats bringing them up into the 50s, from where they are in striking distance of the finish line. At that point it is then up to other groups like SP/AAA, PBP, Greens if any, Daly/Wallace Indo group and so on to either get on board with the first government ever NOT to include any of FF/FG/L which would be SFs first choice....or to prop up, directly or indirectly, an FF/FG/L grand coalition.

Cos that's what the choice ultimately comes down to.

If the sectarian bolloxology the SP in particular are notorious for wins out and they can't support an alternative, then they are to blame for the subsequent FF/FG/L government and the rampant looting that will inevitably involve.

I'd imagine only in the last instance, if progressive elements cannot come to a reasonable agreement with SF; and for some reason FF/FG/L also fail to meet an agreement; would SF reluctantly consider other options involving either Lab or FF. And if none of that works out - I can imagine Lab or FF still deluded trying to assert all sorts of control over the agenda they wouldn't merit or deserve - then it'll be election #2.

How many seats would the SP get anyway ? Their strategy is on the conservative side.

Sidewinder
07-03-2015, 07:34 PM
How many seats would the SP get anyway ? Their strategy is on the conservative side.

Well don't SP/AAA have 3 or 4 already? 6ish at a guess perhaps after the next GE, plus PBP, Greens, other left-leaning or radical TDs that actually want to change the system...A sizeable chunk of the way towards the magic 79. Every vote counts.

They can't sit this one out really. Either they are willing to engage with others who would share at least some of the same agenda against reactionary neo-liberal parties....or they are effectively spoilers and counter-gangs who really wish to support the status-quo. Y'all know what I think of them but I'd be happy to be proven wrong...either way people need to know their stance before casting their votes.

It really is as simple as saying "after the GE our first preference is to work with other progressive groupings to form a government fighting against reactionary gombeen politics of the past to bring real accountability and fairness to Irish politics and we have no intention of propping up FF or FG led governments"

Then anyone who wants change can freely vote and transfer among the progressive blocs. But if they won't do that then the question does have to be asked if voting for them is of any use at all.

Binn Beal
07-03-2015, 09:57 PM
In addition to 79 seats, such a government would have to have the support of the people to deal with the backlash. The 'business sector' and the 'financial sector' can cause untold mischief and then there would be the sniping from the lefter-than-thou element.

C. Flower
07-03-2015, 11:09 PM
Well don't SP/AAA have 3 or 4 already? 6ish at a guess perhaps after the next GE, plus PBP, Greens, other left-leaning or radical TDs that actually want to change the system...A sizeable chunk of the way towards the magic 79. Every vote counts.

They can't sit this one out really. Either they are willing to engage with others who would share at least some of the same agenda against reactionary neo-liberal parties....or they are effectively spoilers and counter-gangs who really wish to support the status-quo. Y'all know what I think of them but I'd be happy to be proven wrong...either way people need to know their stance before casting their votes.

It really is as simple as saying "after the GE our first preference is to work with other progressive groupings to form a government fighting against reactionary gombeen politics of the past to bring real accountability and fairness to Irish politics and we have no intention of propping up FF or FG led governments"

Then anyone who wants change can freely vote and transfer among the progressive blocs. But if they won't do that then the question does have to be asked if voting for them is of any use at all.

I would be very surprised if the SP did not sit out. After all, its sister party in Greece sat out of SYRIZA.

Jolly Red Giant
08-03-2015, 04:01 AM
I ended up reading this after arriving home late and not getting to sleep.

I have rarely read such a load of nonsense that it so far off the mark.


I would be very surprised if the SP did not sit out. After all, its sister party in Greece sat out of SYRIZA.

The implication is that the Greek CWI operates with no contact with SYRIZA - anyone with a balanced knowledge knows this is a load of b*llocks - to the degree that the CWI even participate in SYRIZA national committee meetings. Those posting comments clearly have little knowledge of the nature of SYRIZA or the current situation in Greece.

I must say - the thread has cured my insomnia - good night.

Sidewinder
08-03-2015, 09:32 AM
I ended up reading this after arriving home late and not getting to sleep.

I have rarely read such a load of nonsense that it so far off the mark.

It was a simple but important question and I find it telling that your instinctive reaction was to go on a blustering diversionary rant.

So come on - if the numbers exist to create a government without any of the three gombeen conservative parties, will the SP get on board to help deliver reform and change, or are you intending to snipe from the sidelines in a holier-than-thou snit, that effectively amounts to tacit support for the conservative bloc?

It really is time to make your intentions clear. No more obfuscation and blether. What exactly is your party's agenda?

Binn Beal
08-03-2015, 10:47 AM
I think it is a very relevant question as I'm sure I read somewhere that the SP would not take part in these talks. It is vital to know before an election, as with PR those wanting an alternative government will need to know who is on board for preferences. At the moment I would vote SP, SF, PbP, WP or any independent socialist but if the SP were to exclude themselves from even considering an alternative voting alliance, then I would leave them to their exclusive righteousness.

Launchbury
08-03-2015, 02:51 PM
I think it is a very relevant question as I'm sure I read somewhere that the SP would not take part in these talks. It is vital to know before an election, as with PR those wanting an alternative government will need to know who is on board for preferences. At the moment I would vote SP, SF, PbP, WP or any independent socialist but if the SP were to exclude themselves from even considering an alternative voting alliance, then I would leave them to their exclusive righteousness.
My sentiments exactly. If a left party sits out on some mad principal we might as well all either not bother voting or vote for FFGLab

C. Flower
22-03-2015, 08:00 PM
I ended up reading this after arriving home late and not getting to sleep.

I have rarely read such a load of nonsense that it so far off the mark.



The implication is that the Greek CWI operates with no contact with SYRIZA - anyone with a balanced knowledge knows this is a load of b*llocks - to the degree that the CWI even participate in SYRIZA national committee meetings. Those posting comments clearly have little knowledge of the nature of SYRIZA or the current situation in Greece.

I must say - the thread has cured my insomnia - good night.

Fascinating - one leg in, and one out ?

C. Flower
22-03-2015, 08:59 PM
RTE has been running a massive non story today -

Morning - Jack O'Connor (T. U. leader) says there should be wage increases.

Evening - IBEC spokesperson says there should not.

Like clockwork, any large anti-water charge protest is followed the next day by some kind of statement from O'Connor.

A persistent pattern, for which I don't have an immediate explanation.

Launchbury
22-03-2015, 09:26 PM
RTE has been running a massive non story today -

Morning - Jack O'Connor (T. U. leader) says there should be wage increases.

Evening - IBEC spokesperson says there should not.

Like clockwork, any large anti-water charge protest is followed the next day by some kind of statement from O'Connor.

A persistent pattern, for which I don't have an immediate explanation.

A Trade Union leader looking for a pay rise for his members, and an employers rep disagreeing, what next shocking occurrence will happen next, perhaps it will get dark tomorrow night?

The living wage has been knocking around for a while as a debate now, worst case situation I couldn't see either side turning down the chance to get their case out there if RTE decided to take some air time off the protests. However being a pragmatic sort, things go on in tandem all the time. To follow your logic then Mandate shouldn't be making an issue of the Dunnes Stores dispute or having their Assistant General Secretary on the Low Paid Commission as it is something that will take from their role in Right2Water.

A lot of people out there are keen to get a few extra bob in their pocket after years of not having any, or indeed having cuts to their wages. To suggest these campaigns are to take from Right2Water is getting into conspiracy theory territory, a bit like a comment I seen on Facebook yesterday saying engineering works on the railway at Newbridge was to stop people getting into the protest. I suppose if that's the case the six nations finale was staged for the same reason!!

Binn Beal
22-03-2015, 10:33 PM
I suppose if that's the case the six nations finale was staged for the same reason!!Now you're on to something. Wait till you see whose pictures are in Monday's papers.

C. Flower
22-03-2015, 10:41 PM
A Trade Union leader looking for a pay rise for his members, and an employers rep disagreeing, what next shocking occurrence will happen next, perhaps it will get dark tomorrow night?

The living wage has been knocking around for a while as a debate now, worst case situation I couldn't see either side turning down the chance to get their case out there if RTE decided to take some air time off the protests. However being a pragmatic sort, things go on in tandem all the time. To follow your logic then Mandate shouldn't be making an issue of the Dunnes Stores dispute or having their Assistant General Secretary on the Low Paid Commission as it is something that will take from their role in Right2Water.

A lot of people out there are keen to get a few extra bob in their pocket after years of not having any, or indeed having cuts to their wages. To suggest these campaigns are to take from Right2Water is getting into conspiracy theory territory, a bit like a comment I seen on Facebook yesterday saying engineering works on the railway at Newbridge was to stop people getting into the protest. I suppose if that's the case the six nations finale was staged for the same reason!!

Yes, it is a "dog bites man" story: not news at all, but run as top item (radio).

O'Connor was in the thick of negotiations that set up Irish Water and locked it into long-term staffing agreements. Established staff on local authority conditions, but new engineers reportedly on one third of those rates.

I would not be a bit surprised that he might want to distract from Irish Water. The anti-water charges campaign is becoming a movement, and one that is not altogether in the control of any established bureacracy, notwithstanding TU leadership of Right2Water.

I agree that wages are an issue, but they are less of an issue in my view than privatisation, cuts, and increasing taxation of people on low wages.

C. Flower
22-03-2015, 10:42 PM
Now you're on to something. Wait till you see whose pictures are in Monday's papers.

Just play Marian Finucane back if you want the audio version...

Launchbury
23-03-2015, 06:50 AM
Yes, it is a "dog bites man" story: not news at all, but run as top item (radio).

O'Connor was in the thick of negotiations that set up Irish Water and locked it into long-term staffing agreements. Established staff on local authority conditions, but new engineers reportedly on one third of those rates.

I would not be a bit surprised that he might want to distract from Irish Water. The anti-water charges campaign is becoming a movement, and one that is not altogether in the control of any established bureacracy, notwithstanding TU leadership of Right2Water.

I agree that wages are an issue, but they are less of an issue in my view than privatisation, cuts, and increasing taxation of people on low wages.

In terms of the T's & C's of existing staff moving to Irish Water they would have been covered under the EU Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employment legislation, where you move over to a new company and keep everything you have in your contract of employment. If a company offers new staff different rates then it's a different issue. It makes me laugh that the former local authority workers are the ones been attacked for their rates when its the management that came in new and on big bonus schemes.

And again were seen a union been attacked for standing up for its members and getting a deal. I don't need to repeat my initial comments from my last post!!


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C. Flower
23-03-2015, 08:26 AM
In terms of the T's & C's of existing staff moving to Irish Water they would have been covered under the EU Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employment legislation, where you move over to a new company and keep everything you have in your contract of employment. If a company offers new staff different rates then it's a different issue. It makes me laugh that the former local authority workers are the ones been attacked for their rates when its the management that came in new and on big bonus schemes.

And again were seen a union been attacked for standing up for its members and getting a deal. I don't need to repeat my initial comments from my last post!!


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I don't think any local authority workers should have got wage cuts. I don't think they should have been moved, and I don't think SIPTU should have co-operated with the move.

Once they were moved, I do think that SIPTU should be recruiting the new engineers and taking action to get their salaries and conditions equalised with the transferred workers.

But that is a poor second to having boycotted and opposed the whole process of the Irish Water set up, mobilising the whole of the SIPTU membership, instead of facilitating it.

Launchbury
23-03-2015, 08:31 AM
I don't think any local authority workers should have got wage cuts. I don't think they should have been moved, and I don't think SIPTU should have co-operated with the move.

So what happens then, they're told there is no work for them and offered statutory redundancy and a host of good quality jobs are gone. I'm sure that discussion was had with the relevant officials by the shop stewards and members, after all the deal would go to ballot and the only one involved with no say in it would be the union officials as they have no vote in it.

And yes it could easily have been recommended by officials to take the move, but I've been involved in loads of ballots in my workplace where deals were shot down despite recommendation, it happens everywhere.

Just on your second point I'd be fairly certain in saying new IW workers will be recruited into the union as they join, it happens in all organised workplaces


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C. Flower
23-03-2015, 08:40 AM
So what happens then, they're told there is no work for them and offered statutory redundancy and a host of good quality jobs are gone. I'm sure that discussion was had with the relevant officials by the shop stewards and members, after all the deal would go to ballot and the only one involved with no say in it would be the union officials as they have no vote in it.

And yes it could easily have been recommended by officials to take the move, but I've been involved in loads of ballots in my workplace where deals were shot down despite recommendation, it happens everywhere.

Just on your second point I'd be fairly certain in saying new IW workers will be recruited into the union as they join, it happens in all organised workplaces


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Irish Water could not have been set up without the cooperation of SIPTU, so no jobs would have been lost.

The staff who were moved had 100% of the information and skills needed to run the sewerage systems, far more complex than water.

Launchbury
23-03-2015, 08:46 AM
Irish Water could not have been set up without the cooperation of SIPTU, so no jobs would have been lost.

The staff who were moved had 100% of the information and skills needed to run the sewerage systems, far more complex than water.

I don't buy that, the political will was there to set it up it would've been set up regardless and new hires brought in. Look at the installers there's always someone willing to do unpopular work. Sure it might've led to a dispute situation but really the money would've been put into it by the Government who don't want it to fail.


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C. Flower
23-03-2015, 09:33 AM
I don't buy that, the political will was there to set it up it would've been set up regardless and new hires brought in. Look at the installers there's always someone willing to do unpopular work. Sure it might've led to a dispute situation but really the money would've been put into it by the Government who don't want it to fail.


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:) That is grand in theory, but in practice, given the thousands of treatment plants, urban and rural, and the thousands of miles of pipelines (each with unique local conditions and issues), and the fact that they were all in public ownership and control, it would have been a nightmare for government to have proceeded.

A firm campaign from the Unions, coupled with mass protests, could have brought the thing to a halt.

C. Flower
23-03-2015, 09:58 AM
I don't buy that, the political will was there to set it up it would've been set up regardless and new hires brought in. Look at the installers there's always someone willing to do unpopular work. Sure it might've led to a dispute situation but really the money would've been put into it by the Government who don't want it to fail.


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I take your point that it would have been a battle, and difficult, but isn't that what Trade Unions were built for ?

It is not as if the Trade Unions restrict themselves only to wages matters, they don't, and their views on the Aer Lingus sell off are part of what will decide that too.

Launchbury
23-03-2015, 01:06 PM
I take your point that it would have been a battle, and difficult, but isn't that what Trade Unions were built for ?

It is not as if the Trade Unions restrict themselves only to wages matters, they don't, and their views on the Aer Lingus sell off are part of what will decide that too.

Having a row over a transfer to Irish Water would ultimately come down to how up for the row those balloting would have been. Maybe there was a sense there that the members were happy to go over. Obviously I don't know, I wasn't in the room but generally if workers want to have a row they'll have one regardless of what officials tell them

C. Flower
23-03-2015, 01:16 PM
Having a row over a transfer to Irish Water would ultimately come down to how up for the row those balloting would have been. Maybe there was a sense there that the members were happy to go over. Obviously I don't know, I wasn't in the room but generally if workers want to have a row they'll have one regardless of what officials tell them

This isn't my experience of SIPTU.

Officials pro-actively lead/direct. It has been SIPTU's leadership's practice to co-operate with quangoisation, so long as good terms were got for the specific workers involved in the change.

While you say that jobs have been saved, effectively they have not. The wages and conditions will wither away as contracts end, or as people retire, emigrate or get new jobs.

Then wages will be cut by two thirds and conditions shredded.

The point of Trade Unions is that they enable workers to do more than just negotiate for their own wages.

Launchbury
23-03-2015, 07:03 PM
This isn't my experience of SIPTU.

Officials pro-actively lead/direct. It has been SIPTU's leadership's practice to co-operate with quangoisation, so long as good terms were got for the specific workers involved in the change.

While you say that jobs have been saved, effectively they have not. The wages and conditions will wither away as contracts end, or as people retire, emigrate or get new jobs.

Then wages will be cut by two thirds and conditions shredded.

The point of Trade Unions is that they enable workers to do more than just negotiate for their own wages.

I'd wager a hell of a lot of companies have situations where there are two track terms and conditions. I come from one such company and have met a lot of people through my trade union activism that are in a similar boat. Again it is down to the workers to fight it back, we fought the good fight for ages but ultimately when a proposal was put down, a lot of people took the I'm all right Jack approach once their wages were ok, and are now the most vocal moaners about it. I agree with you a union is more than looking after wages, but in practical real world terms and from bitter experience I can tell you at least three quarters of any given unionised workplace are in it as an insurance policy, as opposed to taking an active part in the biggest civil society movement in the state.

C. Flower
23-03-2015, 07:29 PM
I'd wager a hell of a lot of companies have situations where there are two track terms and conditions. I come from one such company and have met a lot of people through my trade union activism that are in a similar boat. Again it is down to the workers to fight it back, we fought the good fight for ages but ultimately when a proposal was put down, a lot of people took the I'm all right Jack approach once their wages were ok, and are now the most vocal moaners about it. I agree with you a union is more than looking after wages, but in practical real world terms and from bitter experience I can tell you at least three quarters of any given unionised workplace are in it as an insurance policy, as opposed to taking an active part in the biggest civil society movement in the state.

I'm interested in the "civil society" expression. When did that come into Trade Union business, and what does it mean ?

Launchbury
23-03-2015, 10:18 PM
I'm interested in the "civil society" expression. When did that come into Trade Union business, and what does it mean ?

I've been hearing it since I got involved actively. What I take it to mean is that there is a few hundred thousand people in union membership when they are all added up, the potential to change society for the better is there if it's harnessed, I suppose in a way coming back to your point about it being more than wages and conditions. It's the youth groups, the great campaigning going on for marriage equality, even what the Right2water unions are doing.

C. Flower
23-03-2015, 10:39 PM
I've been hearing it since I got involved actively. What I take it to mean is that there is a few hundred thousand people in union membership when they are all added up, the potential to change society for the better is there if it's harnessed, I suppose in a way coming back to your point about it being more than wages and conditions. It's the youth groups, the great campaigning going on for marriage equality, even what the Right2water unions are doing.

I'm not saying you are using it in this sense, but "Civil Society" is a category designed and promoted to cut across the (actually existing) class basis of society on which trade unions are founded.

When I hear "civil society" I expect to find the Ford Foundation, One Foundation, or whatever, breathing down my neck promoting all kinds of unelected "NGOs"


Partha Chatterjee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partha_Chatterjee_%28scholar%29) has argued that, in most of the world, "civil society is demographically limited."[17] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_society#cite_note-17) For Jai Sen civil society is a neo-colonial project driven by global elites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_elite) in their own interests.[18] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_society#cite_note-18) Finally, other scholars have argued that, since the concept of civil society is closely related to democracy and representation, it should in turn be linked with ideas of nationality and nationalism.[19] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_society#cite_note-19) Latest analyses suggest that civil society is a neoliberal ideology legitimizing antidemocratic attack of economic elites on institutions of the welfare state through the development of the third sector as its substitute.[20] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_society#cite_note-ReferenceA-20)

There has been a whole agenda at work to shape - and I would say deform - the way we thing about organising ourselves to protect our rights and well being.

The separation of the leaders of unions from the conditions and experiences of the membership tends to produce a life for them that is closer to "civil society" and further from the working class - unless they see this problem and try to do something about it.

Launchbury
23-03-2015, 10:43 PM
Well that wasn't my intention to use it in that way. For me civil society is actually what the protests are doing, bringing people back together as communities to work together.

C. Flower
23-03-2015, 11:09 PM
Well that wasn't my intention to use it in that way. For me civil society is actually what the protests are doing, bringing people back together as communities to work together.

:) The people who've promoted the idea of "civil society" might think the the water protestors very uncivil indeed.

They are more interested in building networks of unelected people who will not prevent privatisation and who will give a democratic gloss to very undemocratic governments.

http://www.ogpireland.ie/what-does-open-government-mean/

I bet if you watch out for this, you will spot it going on.

C. Flower
31-03-2015, 08:11 PM
Socialist Party is concerned that a Sinn Fein - ICTU alliance would lead to a sectarian split in Trade Unionism in Ireland.

http://socialistparty.ie/2015/03/trade-unions-sinn-fein-dangerous-times/

Binn Beal
31-03-2015, 10:29 PM
May I request that you change the inaccurate and highly loaded heading on this thread so that the issue may be discussed.

Launchbury
31-03-2015, 10:30 PM
Socialist Party is concerned that a Sinn Fein - ICTU alliance would lead to a sectarian split in Trade Unionism in Ireland.

http://socialistparty.ie/2015/03/trade-unions-sinn-fein-dangerous-times/

I don't understand where this anti Sinn Fein slant has suddenly come from in the Socialist party, is it a fall out from the Tallaght by-election? I agree with them on the idea that there is a cosying up to SInn Fein from some leaders of the union movement though.

Saoirse go Deo
31-03-2015, 10:41 PM
I don't understand where this anti Sinn Fein slant has suddenly come from in the Socialist party, is it a fall out from the Tallaght by-election? I agree with them on the idea that there is a cosying up to SInn Fein from some leaders of the union movement though.

Suddenly? The trots have loathed republicans for years.

C. Flower
31-03-2015, 10:42 PM
May I request that you change the inaccurate and highly loaded heading on this thread so that the issue may be discussed.

What would you suggest that the thread should be called ? I thought is was a title that allowed people to take a negative, positive, or in between view of these events.

Jolly Red Giant
31-03-2015, 10:52 PM
I don't understand where this anti Sinn Fein slant has suddenly come from in the Socialist party, is it a fall out from the Tallaght by-election? I agree with them on the idea that there is a cosying up to SInn Fein from some leaders of the union movement though.

This statement from the Socialist Party is focussed on the actions of elements of the trade union leadership - not SF. The TU leaders have a responsibility to ensure the continued unity of the trade unions on this island. These individuals are playing with fire and could possibly succeed in dividing the unions along sectarian lines - something that the worst of paramilitary activity could achieve.

Launchbury
01-04-2015, 10:22 PM
This statement from the Socialist Party is focussed on the actions of elements of the trade union leadership - not SF. The TU leaders have a responsibility to ensure the continued unity of the trade unions on this island. These individuals are playing with fire and could possibly succeed in dividing the unions along sectarian lines - something that the worst of paramilitary activity could achieve.

If we took that attitude of permanently living in the past we would be all in the process of expressing our shame at the events of 1916, a bit like John Bruton I suppose.

Jolly Red Giant
01-04-2015, 11:12 PM
If we took that attitude of permanently living in the past we would be all in the process of expressing our shame at the events of 1916, a bit like John Bruton I suppose.

Could you please explain how raising concerns about future possibilities of a split in the trade union movement in the North along sectarian lines is 'permanently living in the past'?

Launchbury
01-04-2015, 11:18 PM
Could you please explain how raising concerns about future possibilities of a split in the trade union movement in the North along sectarian lines is 'permanently living in the past'?

Using Sinn Fein's past as a stick to beat them with is what I'm referring to. Funnily enough any of my northern colleagues in the union movement are more concerned with their backing of the Stormont house agreement and the messing going on with that than any sectarian divide.


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