View Full Version : Upcoming Industrial Action - What Will Be The Result?

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:34 AM
Moved from Tok - Posted by Lifeisagame

Well we are getting close now to the period of unrest, what will be achieved?
I know I Personally lashed out at the Public Sector over Water Crisis Management. However, my general opinion in my former Life on P.ie was that we should do everything possible to ensure we are not divided as citizens of Ireland.

Public Sector Workers yep it is reasonable that you may feel angry and isolated. But you must be mindful of the rest of the Community and their hurt. Yesterday I listened with astonishment a discussion on the radio whith involved the Union Representative and Senior Management from the Mater Private Hospital.

There is a Strike pending for Feb 1st.

Union Representative implied that Nothing regarding Emergency Cover was Guaranteed. Amazing and Totally Unprofessional.

Management stated the cuts would stand no matter what. But then went on to say that though there were cuts made, the hospital had paid Dividends to it's Shareholders, of whom Staff hold 15%. Why, because they were in Profit. How in Hell can any Business man justify that. I must have looked like one of those toy dogs in my car just shaking my head.

Yes I know this is a Private Hospital, but is this type of confrontation indicative of what is to come?
The country seems to be holding it's breath waiting for the battle to commence. The problem is, there will be no winners in this. If Public Sector salaries stay as is, then Private Sector salaries must rise and all Welfare cuts must be reversed.

Are the Negotiators on both sides Professional enough to pick their way through to a Win Win, no chance.
The Union Leaders have cosily sat on their asses for years raking in money when everybody was basically locked into Patnership Agreements.

The Management, Public or Private, have relaxed and lost all the skills to Negotiate and will make a complete and utter shambles of it.

The Government do not seem to realise that the light at the end of the tunnel is a Train coming at them. They have convinced themselves nothing will happen.

The Opposition Parties will stir the Manure to get a Real Battle going. Screw the Country, we need Political Points.

This is a horrific situation for the Country and could bring it to it's knees. It will divide families and friends.
All for what? There is no Winner here.

Do I have answers or opinions as a Businessman? Yes I do, but they will not be heard in the mayhem.
The Snowball has started to roll down the hill and it is growing by the second.

IBEC are just keeping their heads down because Public Sector is not their remit. I am sorry boys and girls But it Damn Well is. IBEC should be trying to act in some way as Facilitators in this mess. But alas, they will stay in hiding.

God Bless Ireland and all who sink in her.

(First posted early Feb on Tok!)

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:37 AM
First posted on Tok! by Xray

I am a PS worker and I have had a 16% pay cut in the last year, I am working more hours for that. I have zero interest in talking about anything or being generous in anyway from here on in. I am sick to the back teeth of lectures on newstalk and the indo and what I need to be doing.

We have been totally demonised and talking to the government, reaching any form of agreement or trying to justify ourselves in the media is a total waste of time. The time for talking past a few months ago.

I was willing to try to work better for less last year, I was not willing to take the hit/blame for the government committing economic treason. I will not support anybody talking to them on my behalf now at all. All out strike is a waste of time, but expect some amazingly sh1te services when we actually start working only what we are paid to work.

I think widespread privatisations, out sourcing and redundancy is next. There was a palpable sense of disappointment in the government and media circles that the unions did not take the bait and take on the role of fallguy by striking last year. They will keep coming until we react and then the blame for the economic meltdown will become the unions fault.

The minimum wage and enforced PS redundancies are next. Cowen needs a new enemy for the great unwashed and ICTU are it.

In the mean time I will just try to survive and provide, I will not be engaging in any economically patriotic activity or "pulling together", we are at war now, winning and surviving is all that counts now.

Partnership is dead now regardless of what is said, what would the point be of signing another agreement when all the rest are ignored? No point.

I look forward to redundancy and returning to do the same job within months with a private company with less responsibility.

PS you are wrong on two points of fact, the HSE is a member of IBEC, it is not only private sector.

The Mater Private could not provide "emergency cover" as it deals only in elective treatment. There is no emergencies in Irish private hospitals as they in general do not deal with acutely sick people as they are too expensive and unprofitable to treat.

The main reason business leaders wanted PS wages cut B4 xmas is about to become very clear. They could not give a sh1te what the national debt is, they want to slash wages to boost profits and they will. The Mater Priavte is most likely coining it, they just want to coin it more and they will. The staff are dead right to walk out, the hospital can be empty within days of notice to strike unlike a public hospital.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:39 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan. 2010 by Lifeisagame

I am Private Sector but have a difficulty fighting against you. You, Public Sector, played no hand, act or part in destroying our Economy. But you, like us are going to be the scapegoats.
The Mater Private is making a profit, they stated that on a radio interview the other morning.
My Company on the other hand were making a profit in 2008 and a loss for the whole of 2009.
I let some Temporary workers go and did a deal with my staff that they take no increases and I work to ensure they take no pay cuts or compulsory time off. So far we are holding out and I hope to level out this year.
The problem with this country is that the workers will always carry the can for others greed and incompetence.
But even with no pay cuts imposed by me, we are all seeing less and less in our take home pay, the scapegoats again.
There are better ways of recovering the Economy but they require hard work by Competent Leaders in the Dail, ICTU and IBEC. But they are not Competent enough to put those methods in place.
Will a General Election change it? No Chance.
We do not have the Leadership to implement productive change and maintain employee standards of living.
What do we get for Pay Cuts and Higher Taxes? More workers struggling to make ends meet. We cannot reduce the Mortgages we took out based on our past salaries. But who gives a Damn.
Cutting Public Sector Salaries is going to have a direct effect on the Private Sector as many co-habitate. Therefore, those people will take a Double Hit. It is a nonsense and a disgrace.
I have spent countless hours in this office looking for every possible thing I could do to survive and keep my employees at the same salary.
But unfortunitely we have the same thinking by many many Employers in the Private Sector operating on the same theory as your Employers, Government, here is a way to slash salaries excellent let's do it because they can do nothing.
You have one distinct advantage in the Public Sector, you can march as one. The Private Sector can only live in fear.
Good Luck with what you do, I may ***** and moan if you inconveience me, but I will be happy if you succeed. Why, because then the Private Sector may turn on the Government as one also.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:40 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan 2010 by Xray

The most important thing you have said there is that there is no leadership. We have a bag of muppets that have a completely over inflated idea of their own abilities in this country. Making money or providing public services was childs play for manages until recently.

I think it was perfectly reasonable for the government to come to us and ask for savings etc as we work for the state and the state was in financial trouble. That is not what they did however.

They tried very hard to transfer the anger for the failure of this society from themselves and others onto us by provoking us into knee jerk reactions that annoyed people. Of course the profit takers in the media and business supported this as it cleared a path for them to cut pay and reduce holidays, sick pay, maternity pay etc later.

I dont think it has worked out well, the unions are been shown to be paper tigers, everyone is now scared by the rapid slashing of income, many businesses realise they are finished if they depend on domestic demand now and politcially FF and the Greens are totally done for.

Anyway the debate has moved on from union action or political economic arguements now to one purely of personal economic survival now. Such damage has been done to personal economic confidence now nothing else comes into the equation.

We have had a management failure in this country. In politics, in finance, in the public sector or indeed in the unions. We have no quality leadership. Dont be surprised when all fight their own corner now. There is not the remotest chance of a unified response from the unions now, they totally let the membership down last year and the government have no integrity to do a deal, nobody would take them seriously.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:42 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan 2010 by People Korps

Better the clowns we know than Declan Ganley was my philosphy last year,

Politicsians in Ireland of all shades are mostly *******

did you hear Mary Lou on Pat Kenny this morning? Who trained the sfers in pr skills? They put Bertie A in the shade for talking much while saying nothing, but the buzz and spin she purt on her defence of IRA trials which involved bringing a young rape victim face to face with her IRA commandant rapist was pukifying

Adams did the same with his niece and brother..was he trying toread body language too?

If SF are to have a future then the leadership needs a serious culling

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:44 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan 2010 by Xray

mary lu and ganley have two things in common and for that reason neither worry me. Neither will ever be elected. We as a people might be thick but we are not stupid. SF really should take the hint on mary lu.

We probably need a new system of electing people to get rid of the local focus on national politics. Strong local democracy is great, selecting a minister for health on the basis of a pot hole outside your house is a nonsense.

SF are not someone I would vote for, but I think they do deserve credit for the last few years and making hard and not always popular decisions. The need to have a serious rethink if they want support as the troubles ear leadership hands over to a new generation though. What do they stand for?

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:45 AM
First posted on Tok" Jan 2010 by Lifeisagame
I am not going to try and sound a good guy in this mess. But believe me it will be a mess.
I will to quote a Senior Union Representative " Wait in the long grass" a term well known in Industrial Relations Circles.
There is nobody earning an honest wage in this country not being screwed at this moment.
As I previously said, I was anti Public Sector but as a business man, taking into account all the facts, I have no choice but to agree with you. Your fight is legitimate go do it. I said I would ***** and moan but I will speak in public to highlight the disgrace in this country. My Company is in the top ten worldwide.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:46 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan 2010 by Xray

There is no fight to be back, we had the fight and were beaten, the war is over, its an unpleasant peace, but it is what it is. You sacrificed industrial peace, you did not want it when it was offered.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support strike in my case now, we have lost. It is simply damage limitation at this stage. I would say vast outsourcing of health care is in the pipeline later this year, there will be many job loses possibly including my own. Strikes is only walking further into the trap we are already in. I will simply fulfill my duties to the letter of my grade and hours, no more.

The unions have failed us in the farce leading up to xmas. Striking will only ensure that we get enforced redundancy on poor terms or enforced relocation etc.

Many people wanted to defeat social partnership last year, they did. Be careful what you wish for.

As I said in the beginning there is nothing to talk about and no deal that can be done at this stage. We have abandoned a social consensus model that took decades to establish, that is not reversible. Even for example if the government reversed my 16% pay cut before the next election I still would not trust them, nor would I spend the 16% as I would assume any income I have left over may be temporary. I will have to assume that for life now. The state(my employer) broke its word. I have no faith in future income levels, no trust my pension will be paid, no interest in ever being promoted further, no interest in seeking a new pay deal and no interest in working harder or more efficiently. I simply want to survive now. And an election where my local green and FF reps call to the door. I will also never buy another paper from the independent group til the day I die.

The myth that brian lenehan is a great minister because he shot down a deal with the unions really is the killer for me. It was one of the worst decisions ever made in this country, allowing for NAMA and the bank guarantee. Our unions are the tamest, least militant in the world, their leadership is part of the establishment for got sake. They were signing up to a second pay cut in a year and he decided they needed to be crushed like coal miners in stoke on trent. It is utter madness. Reasonable unions are a massive benefit to an economy, we have destroyed that pillar on which built modern Ireland with this thatcherite ignorance that has over taken the country.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:48 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan 2010 by Lifeisagame

I am not going to pontificate, you were sold a pup by bad unions and I suspect they had already had discussions before they even talked to you.
That is the way the game is played, sorry but that is what they do to ensure their salary is safe.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:49 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan 2010 by Xray

I am afraid they did not sell me anything because I saw this coming months ago, they rammed it down my throat though. I still think senior members of the government acted very dishonourably in the way they dealt with PS workers. If we are over paid and unworked as they claim it is them that put us it that situation so for them to try to politically scapegoat us is beneath contempt.

You must remember that a union is not a political party, it is a lobby group essentially. You can be in a union and hold many views that the union does not.

I am not a raving socialist, but I do believe in unions and the right to be in one. If I am in a union I will stick by it as a matter of principle, but I realise they are human flawed organisations.

I used to be a FF activist, I became deeply depressed with it and finally resigned over the disgrace of the last couple of years. I stuck it out longer than I should have to be honest. The bank guarantee was the real unforgivable crime as far as I am concerned.

I am not the font of all political knowledge and I made mistakes in politics, but I always supported what I thought to be right for the majority of people rather than my own narrow personal interests. I do not believe that is driving force behind many of the guys running the show now, they are deeply dishonourable and liars.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:50 AM
First posted on Tok! Jan 2010 by Lifeisagame

The government have used the media to great advantage by paring off private vs public worker. The only ones defending public sector workers are the big union officials, who in my opinion are as greedy as the next man. What baffles me is that some of those in the private sector are getting more worked up about the right of public sector workers to strike than the fecking government who brought everyone to this position in the first place.
There is no doubt the cartel of politicians, top bankers and developers manipulated the country into a lot of this mess, but the we should have been less drawn by the bright lights ourselves and said enough is enough. We have to shoulder some of the responsibility and that is already happening with paycuts, job losses and a huge debt to NAMA well into the future. That will all be meaningless and history will repeat itself if we vote for the same politics in the next election.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:52 AM
First posted on Tok! Feb 2010 by Iomaint


I am having difficulty reconciling your new found support for the public sector in the post above with another post you made on this site a short time ago.

QUOTE from Lifisagame

"So folks in Ireland of today, if you are in trouble, WHO GIVES A FXXK
In my previous life on other dictatorial website where you needed a long tongue, I supported the Public Sector. Now, fxxk you, rot in hell".


Are you really interested in rational political discourse with like minded people who are interested in dabating national issues and the politics that shape our nation ?
It really is a shame to see this sort of vitriolic diatribe detracting from the main debate.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:53 AM
First posted on Tok! Feb 2010 by Xray

The fight has moved on from the PS to lower paid private workers. They will now use the PS workers to attack these people, then it will be the dole.

What fools we are.

On the PS front, it hurts and I am as angry at hell at the carry on before xmas, but we lost. We screwed up the dance with the government. Months of acting the arse with industrial action is pointless and just posturing by union leaders who made errors last year. Time to move on and get certainty, I need to know what my future income is going to be or if I will even have one. I will deal with the government at the next election.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:54 AM
First posted on Tok! Feb 2010 by Lifeisagame

Put it down to a moment of madness.
No, I have no axe to grind with the Public Sector. They got used and indeed abused, but what is most annoying is the fact that the Union Leaders did them the most damage. When you have a Government, it is elected and you have a choice of who to vote for.
When you join a Union you pay them to Protect you in situations like this, they were betrayed.

What was interesting was the lack of Public reaction by the Union Leaders when the Government threatened to cease the automatic collection of Union fees at source from salaries. Just imagine if that happened in both the Public and Private Sectors and the union dues had to be collected manually. I guarantee you would see Unions collapsing as fast as Private Sector businesses. That is why their so called Leaders kept their mouth shut. However,it was a superb demonstration of where their loyalty is. They just crawled back into the holes they came from and they were terrified.

We had reports that the Public Sector workers were going to make life difficult for the Public also. I can state here factually that I had occassion to be in contact with three seperate departments last week. The people I spoke to were a pleasure to deal with and I wish I could say the same for all Private Sector companies.
I do believe that the Government terror tactics to divide the Sectors failed. However it was not because of support by Union Leaders for the sectors that it failed, they actually helped the Government.
My personal belief of why they failed is, it is not in the mentality of Irish Citizens maintain a vendetta against each other, exclude the criminal vendettas, and while it was stoked and yes I was one, it was short lived.
I hope it stays that way.

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:56 AM
First posted on Tok! Feb 2010 by Xray

In truth the government did exactly what you and others wanted them to do, now you want your cake as well or you realise you are next on the block.

What has been done cannot now be undone. The unions are very badly damaged, wages and other conditions of employment will lower across the board now as a result. If you are a PAYE worker you were a fool to be calling for pay cuts. It matter not who pays your wages, they will continue to tighten now simply because then can.

The reasonably good holidays, health and safey law, maternitym equality and minimum wages were very hard gained in this country. Forty years ago a woman was not even allowed work if married, the PS treated its staff very badly up until the 90s. By breaking the PS unions all are now at risk, non unionised work places are totally screwed. Intel workers dont get more holidays here than in the states because of the guinness, it is because we had well organised staff that worked constructively with government and employers. IBEC et al have decided to roll the clock back a few decades. Partnership is totally dead, I will resign from my union if they re-enter talks.

Fool me once....

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 08:58 AM
I've brought this very good discussion between a public sector worker and private sector employer over from Tok! so it can be continued.
Since the beginning of the year the amount of "industrial unrest" has increased further.

Baron von Biffo
09-03-2010, 10:10 AM
I've brought this very good discussion between a public sector worker and private sector employer over from Tok! so it can be continued.
Since the beginning of the year the amount of "industrial unrest" has increased further.


People Korps
09-03-2010, 10:36 AM
The intermediary site http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/index.php?mforum=tok

Baron von Biffo
09-03-2010, 11:08 AM
The intermediary site http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/index.php?mforum=tok

Thanks. Unlike my girth, my ignorance shrank a bit today ;)

C. Flower
09-03-2010, 06:00 PM
When looking at the prospects for an election, not only the shrinking majority but also the increasing levels of industrial unrest will surely come into play?

IBEC is saying that public sector industrial action is "unacceptable".


09-03-2010, 07:49 PM
When looking at the prospects for an election, not only the shrinking majority but also the increasing levels of industrial unrest will surely come into play?

IBEC is saying that public sector industrial action is "unacceptable".


I think IBEC is "unacceptable".
Why are semi state bodies in IBEC?