Friday, July 10, 2009

An Phoblacht - Sending out the right message

I'm glad to see this week's edition of An Phoblacht has two pieces supporting workers in the current economic crisis. For me this is a core message that Sinn Féin needs to be shouting out loudly.

The first article is entitled

Recession no excuse for employers to line pockets with money owed to electricians

Unions to resist attempts to drive down wages and conditions

The article is in clear support of the the electricans and their stance in fighting for what they are owed and how this is just the latest attempt to attack the pay and conditions of ordinary workers.

The article states, "The reason why this dispute has taken on such importance for the trade union movement is that it represents another step in a concerted attempt by employers to dismantle agreed structures and mechanism for setting wages in specific sectors of the economy. It follows an attempt last year by the Irish Hotels Federation to challenge the right of Joint Labour Committees and the Labour Court to set minimum wages and the employment conditions for workers in the hotel sector.This dispute arose as a consequence of a challenge by the a section of employers to a registered employment agreement (REA) on electricians pay, agreed by workers and employers. That employers’ action in refusing to pay the agreed increase would, if carried out by unions, have been described as ‘wild cat action’ with serious consequences for any unions involved. The action by the TEEU is a direct response to employers’ refusal to negotiate, despite a recommendation from the Labour Court that they should do so."

In addition there is a further article in An Phoblacht entitled.

McGuinness tells ICTU conference – workers cannot be asked to pay price for crisis not of their making

This article outlines points made when the Joint First Minister (stupid feckin title to be using) made at the ICTU conference in Tralee.

In the article it states.
McGuiness told delegates that his concern about the economic downturn was the effects it has inflicted on the lives of ordinary people throughout Ireland: “Effects which you as trade unionists, and myself as a political representative, are all too painfully aware. The recession cannot, and must not, be used as an excuse to drive down terms and conditions of employment for ordinary workers. Ordinary workers cannot be asked to pay the heaviest price for a crisis that is not of their making.“It is their lives and futures and indeed that of their children and grandchildren that we must focus on improving. And while we work to address the employment and banking crisis we must ensure that the most vulnerable in our society continue to be protected”.

The above two articles push the message that I feel Sinn Féin need to be fully behind. Namely Sinn Féin is a party that supports the interests of the working people of this country and that Sinn Féin will stand with the trade union movement in ensuring that it is not just working people that have to pay for the current economic crisis.


  1. I see you have taken me of your blog roll?? Has there been a post that yuo do not agrre with??

  2. Hi Mick and anybody else who's blog disappeared from my blog roll.

    The reason this happened is because I don't know much about this blogin stuff and I was only getting 10 links to appear. I've finally worked how to change this in blogrolling and now hopefully they are all there.

  3. An phoblacht reguarly has articles such as these. We as a party are clearly supportive of working people and the unemployed.
    I agree we need to get our message out there, but for me the problem is that the southern media just don't want to know us and won't publish most of what we say. The only way forward is to build from the bottom and get our message out that way.


  4. Ben,

    Yes an phoblacht has articles like this but the previous post on this site shows the problem. It took SF till 7th to issue a statement in support of the electricans! Other parties such as the Socialist party and SWP were all this in a flash and pushing the justice of the TEEU demands.

    It is because of things like this that SF's commitment to socialism and supporting working people is doubted.

    For me the articles above are good solid stuff, but we need to convince people they are at the core of what we believe and not just an add on.