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120,000 workers march through Dublin - National strike now!

category ireland / britain | workplace struggles | news report author Tuesday February 24, 2009 01:35author by andrew Report this post to the editors

On Saturday 120,000 workers marched through Dublin demanding the the public sector pay cut ('pension levy') be withdrawn, that jobs cuts be opposed and that all the other attacks on the working class be ended. Over the last couple of weeks there have been dozens of local union meetings of workers in the public sector demanding strike action to halt the cuts. The march was a chance not only to put pressure on the government but also to demand that our unions do the only thing that can halt the cuts, call a national strike.

The WSM met up to leaflet the march at 1.30 at the Parnell monument, and then joined the demonstration with a banner demanding a National Strike. Here we present reports, interviews with and photos from WSM members who took part on the demonstration and the leafletting as well as background articles on the nature of the crisis

Momentum Builds for National Strike
From late morning yesterday (Sat. 21st February) it was clear that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ National Demonstration was going to be huge. It was also clear that those marching were from all over the country and from all types of employment – both public and private sector.

Audio and images from the ICTU march
An interview with Dermot who was at the demonstration leafletting for the WSM on the atmosphere of the demonstration and what is to come along with images from Saturday's ICTU demonstration against the pay cuts & job losses

ICTU march - No recovery on the back of the workers
Report from Cork WSM member on the ICTU demonstration
These are a selection from the many shots I took on a day when our class re-discovered a little something of its old combative spirit, and the numbers marching are more comfort to ordinary working folk than to those who would misinterpret this monster attendance as endorsement of their strategy of appeasement towards IBEC and the government. I saw David Begg walk up Parnell Sq. East towards the Garden of Remembrance a half-hour or more before the march started. He was alone and he looked downcast

Background material on the demonstration

Below is the text of the leaflet we distributed, personal opinion pieces from members on the growing resistance to the cuts and background articles and education video on the crisis.

Pay cuts, job losses - Organise the Fightback - WSM leaflet distributed on Saturdays march
As soon as possible we need a unified day of strike action across the entire public sector to demand withdrawal of this pay cut. One day of strike action is unlikely to be enough to force a change of government policy. So this needs to be followed up with an ongoing campaign of strike action.

Was ICTU behind the pensions levy?
Report from the national meeting of public sector workers the previousSaturday. Did the idea of the so called 'Pensions Levy' come from some of the very Irish Congress of Trade Unions leadership who are supposed to negotiate on behalf of workers. This is one revelation that emerged on Saturday morning at a meeting of over 100 public sector trade unionists and two delegates from the Waterford Glass occupation.

Fight cuts in the private sector - all workers must stand together

Thoughts on the crash and the alternatives - Based around a review of the SIPTU alternative plan
Our government has become more and more open about their plans for us. Cowen wants to drive down our living standards by 12% and has already cut all our wages through the tax levy and slashed the wages of workers in the public sector further through the so called ‘pensions levy’.

author by nestor - 1 of Anarkismo Editorial Grouppublication date Thu Feb 26, 2009 16:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dublin Community TV has a nice video report on the event:

ICTU National Day of Action from DCTV on Vimeo.

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