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Late last year Ireland saw ferry ships occupied, port workers turning away a strikebreaking ship, and a half-day solidarity strike by about 150,000 workers. Here we present an overview of what happened along with links to articles published by anarchists in Ireland, before, during and after the struggle.
Irish Ferries, a private company operating ferries to Britain and France announced that it was going to make Irish workers redundant and replace them with East Europeans on much lower wages. The company said it would not even pay the Irish minimum wage (€7.65 per hour), and was going to register its ships in Cyprus in order to evade Irish law.
The economic boom in Ireland and the construction boom that has come alongside it has led to a growth in the importance of environmental campaigns. There has frequently been a large gap between the environmentalists involved in such campaigns and the left - including anarchists. Sean, one of the 'Carrickminders' and now a member of the WSM gives his view on what can be learnt from the recent struggles.
This article is not an attempt to be a pejorative statement from a class struggle point of view; there is a lot to be learnt on our part from these campaigns. Primarily the heritage based activists who took on the authorities at Carrickmines and the ecologists at the Glen of the Downs were doing something we failed at - taking on the issue of the environment. The campaign at Carrickmines, which I was directly involved in, felt resentment at the time due to the lack of participation and even interest from organised political left-wing groups
The opening years of the century saw a mass community based struggle against the shifting of taxation further onto the working class in Dublin. Thousands of households were paid up members of the campaign and tens of thousands refused to pay this new tax over a period of years despite prosecutions, media hysteria and the jailing of over 20 activists.
Local organising groups popped up across the city. It climaxed in the winter of 2003, with the jailings of numerous activists in quick succession. Here we interview Dermot Sreenan, a member of the WSM who has been a prominent activist in the campaign from the start.
The Workers Solidarity Meeting held its Autumn 2005 conference over the October bank holiday weekend. National conference is the decision making body of the WSM – it does everything from agree the collective political positions of the WSM to decide what mechanisms we use to make decisions. With this feature we include links to all the positions paper that came out of the conference.
The giant supermarket corporation TESCO's recently fired two migrant Polish workers at its depot in Dublin, Ireland. They were demanding an end to the speed up in work rate, equal rates of pay for temp and permanent workers and for contracts for everyone who had worked at the depot three months or more.
It appears that TESCO may have cause to regret this action as far from lying down the workers concerned have organised with others to fight back. This started with a picket outside the depot which resulted in a two hour stoppage inside (under the cover of a union meeting - a common way of getting around anti-strike laws in Ireland).
Now the sacked workers are at the centre of a campaign demanding a change in conditions at the plant that has seen solidarity actions take place in Poland - actions which are spreading to other parts of Europe including Britain
Sun 19 Aug, 10:25
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