We publish for the interest of our readers this article from
The Plough, the journal of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, as it makes
many relevant points about the situation in Northern Ireland today. In
particular it highlights the need for working class unity and class struggle as
the only way out.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and the Fianna Fáil lead coalition have announced a budget that takes €837 out of the economy for every man, woman and child in Ireland. This direct assault on the working class is going to have massive implications for years to come.
“The factory should be nationalised under workers’ control. But that would be too radical a step for any of the parties in Stormont already committed to administering the neoliberal economic policies of the pro-business Brown Government in Westminster.”
The ICTU leaders have deferred the strike action planned for Monday 30 pending the outcome of negotiations. The problem is the government and the bosses have very little room for manoeuvre. The only way to stop the Fianna Fáil/Green Party government and the bosses in their tracks is through militant action.
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.