Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't Do It,CPSU!

The CPSU Annual Conference will take place in Galway this weekend. I understand from media reports that motions will be proposed seeking a reduction in the pay of union officials commensurate with the reductions suffered by members due to salary reductions and pension levies. If these motions are passed it will be a disaster for the union and for the fight against the savage pay cuts that have taken place.

I understand the anger of union members about the savage attacks on their pay and conditions and on their very livelihoods . I also understand their anger at the Government-initiated, media-fuelled, right-wing attacks being perpetrated at the moment, which are now leading to a call for privatisation of services such as the Passport Office service. This is part of a concerted campaign by the interests of capital - that have corrupted this country to its core - to decimate as many public services as possible so that they can be run down, converted to poor quality private services, and sold at a profit (e.g. Eircom [disaster]; Aer Lingus [disaster]; SR Technics [disaster]; Dublin Docklands Development Authority [disaster]; waste management and refuse collection [disaster]).

So, when union members are being ravaged in their pockets and attacked on all sides, why am I asking them not to vote to cut the salaries of their paid officials? Because to do so would indicate clearly that the members accept the principle of pay cuts and, therefore, the implementation of pay cuts. They will have given the enemies of labour (of which there are many) in the government, the media, business and wider society the greatest weapon to attack them with - their own acceptance of the logic of pay cuts. Within 24 hours (perhaps less), this very point will be made in the media, by government spokespeople and by business leaders. The unions' cause will be seriously damaged.

So I urge all union members - but particularly, at this time, the members of the CPSU - not to give a golden opportunity to their enemies and vote to cut the pay of their officials.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Time for Unions to Hang Tough

At last the work-to-rule is having an effect on the public, and near time. Irish public sector workers have been made the scapegoats for the depression, that was actually caused by Fianna Fail, banks, developers and the so-called professional classes of lawyers, accountants, auctioneers and their like.

The quality of public debate, most recently characterised by the utter shite spouted by idiots on Joe Duffy's Liveline today on RTE, is so poor that there is no point anymore in the unions getting into debate. The only thing to do is to continue and to escalate the action against this government that slashed workers wages and vilified public sector workers over the last 18 months in a concerted black propaganda campaign. And that campaign will escalate now as the government rallies its spin doctors, mouth-pieces and apologists for an assault on the airwaves where, as usual, they will get a supine, craven, uncritical audience by media that are nothing but vehicles of right-wing propaganda.

The government fooled the unions before by bringing them into negotiations last December and then walking out, making idiots of union members and their leaders. Remember the old saying: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

So let's go for it, brothers and sisters, and take the fight to the government and the public. There will be problems and difficulties, but that's life.

Isn't it amazing how the people queuing outside the passport office in Dublin today suddenly realise how important the work done by those "back room" civil servants is. Different message from before, when they didn't matter; were useless; lazy bastards; less than scum; you name it, public servants were called it. Well, now the worm is turning.

My message to all the complainers: "Fuck Off."

To my union brothers and sisters: Hang tough! Keep up the struggle! Defend your pay and conditions! Fight for your rights! Bring this worthless government down!