Union after union has been balloting its members over strike action and the message from the rank and file is clear. SIPTU, the teachers, the nurses, the TEEU are all coming out; in IMPACT, the biggest public sector union 65% voted favour and even in UNITE where there is a big private sector presence the votes are on a knife edge. The conditions are all there to transform March 30 into a full-fledged one-day general strike, if the trade union leaders were prepared to make such a call.
After displaying a high level of militancy and determination, the Waterford workers have ended their occupation after the union leaders brokered a deal with the owners of the company. This is a bitter blow for the workers, but it also highlights the need to struggle within the unions for a fighting leadership.
Sectarianism only serves to divide the working class. When in reality the conditions that Catholic and Protestant workers face mean that they have far more in common with each other than they could ever have with the bosses.
As we know there are indeed 40 shades of green in Ireland, but as the comrades of Labour Youth and the Connolly Youth Movement have explained in their open letter to the Green Party there is another one. The shade of green, that is, which justifies the Green Party’s ongoing support for the Fianna Fáil - which allows the latter to continue to hold a majority in the Dáil.
On February 21 some 200,000 workers and their families took to the streets in Dublin, to demonstrate their opposition to the government's decision to impose a pension levy on 300,000 Public sector workers. Apart from that, the most significant in recent months may have been the occupation of workers by Waterford Crystal. The class struggle is growing in Ireland and the union leaders are under pressure.
The civil servants’ strike, the first national civil servants strike in twenty years, was rock solid. Now the task for Trade Unionists and Socialists in Ireland must be to build for March 30th; let’s turn it into a one-day general strike!