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.