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Statement from ATGWU re Bin Charge Campaign

category national | bin tax / household tax / water tax | press release author Friday September 26, 2003 15:45author by Elle Report this post to the editors

The following statement was issued today by Mick O'Reilly (ATGWU)

The ATGWU totally disassociates itself from the statement made by the ICTU General Secretary David Begg. This statement clearly states that the ICTU does not believe that its own policies in relation to bin charges are worth fighting for. The entire statement is a scurrilous attack on working class communities, resident’s associations and thousands of PAYE workers and trade unionists who are fighting for the policies of the ICTU. The picture painted of these people by David Begg, as marionettes who are being manipulated for political ends, is both patronising and insulting to the communities concerned. The idea that if people acquiesce to these charges jobs will be secure and privatisation of refuse services will be stopped is simply not true. The opposite is the case. In many councils around the country where these charges have been introduced, privatisation has followed. If these charges are introduced in Dublin, privatisation will surely follow and Mr. Begg is misleading workers to say otherwise. The failure of the ICTU leadership to call for support for demonstrations demanding the release of Cllr Clare Daly and Joe Higgins TD is a disgrace. No greater love could be shown to the government by the leadership of the ICTU than to attack working class communities who dare to have the nerve to fight for trade union policies and oppose unjust taxes. To attack those who struggle, to proclaim that struggle cannot change the policies of governments is to devalue and deface the whole history of trade unionism.

The ICTU claim that we live in a partnership society and that it is worthwhile propping up the Fianna Fáil / Progressive Democrat government, together with the employers in a partnership process because it gives the ICTU a major influence on strategic issues such as taxation and social policy. Why was this influence not brought to bear to do anything to ameliorate this most crude, unjust form of regressive taxation? In his statement Mr. Begg decries the fact that we have the lowest public expenditure of 16 OECD countries, he decries the fact that the government stood on a low tax platform, yet the executive of the ICTU are one of the biggest props that this government has. Mr. Begg, in his statement, has condemned the bin charges for having no regard for ability to pay and also being a major component of inflation, why then does he attack those who have the courage to campaign against these taxes. The answer to this is simple Mr. Begg is a partner of the government and employers and if that partnership requires him to attack his own members, abandon his own policies then that is what he will do. Why doesn’t the executive of the ICTU try a partnership with its own members and these working class communities in struggle? The fact is that if you fight you don’t always win but if you don’t fight you’ll never win.

If we can imagine that Begg and his cohorts were in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago they would never have followed a leader who got himself crucified, they would instead have negotiated a “partnership deal” with the Romans!

author by Magspublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great to see Mick back and fighting!

author by Chekovpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder if this will make the front page of the IT like Beggs's statement did, somehow I doubt it.

In other news there is a Workers Party picket outside Liberty Hall now

Just passed by there and saw a picket of 12 WP protestors with party-branded anti-bin tax placards opposite liberty hall.

author by Deep Greenpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 16:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He is not authorised to speak on behalf of the ATGWU. Brendan Hodgers is the ATGWU Regional Secretary.

Deal with waste, ignore the SP whingers.

author by mikloverpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors


author by Ellepublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At no point in his statement did he claim to be the "leader" of the ATGWU but as a very senior ranking member of staff surely Mick is entitled to speak for his members....particularly in light of the fact that Hodgers is keeping silent on this serious issue. I for one am glad that the people's view on this issue is being represented to Congress.

author by aunty joepublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

why do the Irish still cling to the illusion that the states unions will or should come running to their rescue.

They would suffer less stress snd sleep better, if they orginised amogst themselves and left the states unions to stagger into the fine bogs of Co Monaghan.

author by joe kavanaghpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors


author by Very Anonymouspublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 17:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Deep Green says:

***Deal with waste, ignore the SP whingers.****

Yes deal with waste - local authorities should be spending their cash on recycling facilities instead of on trying to get bin-tax protestors flung into prison - any idea, Deep Green, how much money Fingal etc have put aside to prosecute all non-payers?

The astounding political naivety of the Greens on this is something to behold. For a party that supposedly represents a break from the right/left political divide they seem to know exactly where they stand when it comes to crushing civil disobedience ie to the right of the Fine Gael "Hand-them-and-flog-them" brigade.

Waste is being dealt with, what the f**k do you think all those lovely incinerators and superdumps are being built for?

What are the Greens going to do about it - f**k all, which all they can do. By sitting on the fence in the hope of not alienating all those nice middle class voters who gave them a go at the last election they have shown exactly the extent to which they are willing to go to defend the indefensible ie the state mobilisation to crush the bin-tax campaign.

When all those incinerators are running full pelt and the cancer wards are filling up at least the Greens will have the comfort of knowing that the media and the middle classes still love them (but not that much).

author by pat cpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"oh stoney grey soil of monaghan"

author by John Meehanpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 18:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From Irish Times Breaking News Site, 26.9.2003 :

"Delegation of TDs visits jailed bin protesters
Sinn Féin has called for the release of the Socialist Party politicians jailed for their part in anti-bin-charge protests last week.

After a five-man delegation of TDs visited TD Mr Joe Higgins and Fingal County Councillor, Ms Clare Daly today, Sinn Féin TD Mr Seán Crowe said both were in good spirits.

He said the one-month incarceration period was particularly difficult for Ms Daly who has been separated from her three-year-old child.

Mr Crowe accused the local authorities who have instructed bin men not to collect refuse from households where the charge has not been paid of being confrontational.

"I am calling the county managers to put an end to their gung-ho attitude to anti-bin charge protesters. They need to pull back from the brink and lessen the tensions around the whole issue," Mr Crowe said.

Protestors have been blocking bin collections and have picketed local authority offices and depots.

Mr Crowe also laid the blame for the jailing of the Socialist Party pair at the feet of the Minister for the Environment, Mr Cullen.

"Neither Joe or Clare would be in jail now if it were not for the cynical manipulation of the laws of this State and the obvious waste problems that exist by both the Minister for the Environment Martin Cullen and the County Managers of each local authority.

"There is no justification for the continued detention of Joe Higgins and Clare Daly and they should be immediately released," Mr Crowe added.

The other TDs in the delegation were: Mr John Gormley (Green Party); Mr Tommy Broughan (Labour); Mr Tony Gregory and Mr Finian McGrath (both independent)."

author by Jolly Green Giantpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not Gormley. Gormley has only objected to the lenght of the sentence. He is not in principle opposed to Councils seeking the jailing of activists.

Real Greens support the Anti Bin Tax campaign, but there are not very many real greens in the Green Party.

author by mean green gnomepublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 18:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

will we unite forces and put real greenies in the greens or leave the real greenies to harvest another time?

author by Jolly Green Giantpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 18:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the Green Party went bad years ago. It became a vehicle for the ambitions of a small number of people. Real Greens should stay outside of what is just another corrupt party, corrupt in so far as they will sacrifice any sort of principles to achieve power.

The statements by Gormley, Cuffe and Sargeant condemning the campaign show that they are part of the establishment. They will not even condemn the imprisonment of activists. Their only objection is the length of the sentences.

Get involved in campaigns, get in involved in GG, get involved in Anarchist Organisations, even get involved in the SP and SWP rather than go near the putrid Green Party.

author by Greenpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 21:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Real Greens should stay outside of what is just another corrupt party, corrupt in so far as they will sacrifice any sort of principles to achieve power."

that's not true or fair. there's plenty of diversity and there's a big debate going on in the greens at the moment about the bin tax.
the policy is that the polluter pays, but people are asking who is the polluter?
Not all the greens agree with the bin tax. Are you saying that the GP members who disagree should leave the party? that's no way to run things.

author by Jolly Green Giantpublication date Sat Sep 27, 2003 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No member of the Green Party has openly opposed the Bin Tax.

author by pasionariapublication date Tue Sep 30, 2003 04:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

greeens agree with the EU sentiment that the polluter pays.. the gov tried to force the bin tax in by saying that it will finance proper recycling structures. so the greens support this..

but it is obvious that the gov. seems to equate waste incineration with the word recycling.

do in fact the purpose of the bin tax is to fund incineration,,

and the greens still remain quite.

author by Eddie Cullen - Union Memberpublication date Thu Oct 02, 2003 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's Mick, the working man's hero my backside.

Pal of Brendan Ogle more like!

author by What's thispublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 03:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who is Brendan Ogle?

author by Tony McKennapublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why can't the dossers, wasters and rent a mob just pay the tax and get on with it? Because they are too busy drinking and smoking and polluting to give a damn.

It makes me sick

author by PKpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sell out by the looks of it.
(Are Impact members doing anything on the ground and harassing their head office, it seems to have had an effect on SIPTU.)

Fingal Manager welcomes union statement

Earlier, Fingal County Manager Willie Soffe welcomed a recent statement made by IMPACT trade union and in particular, their recognition that jobs and services are 'effectively dependent on the domestic charges regime'.

The local branch of IMPACT also condemned the actions of individuals, including elected representatives. The branch has called for an apology for remarks made about Council staff by one of the leaders of the Anti-Bin Tax Campaign.

According to Mr Soffe, the support of the union has been crucial in implementing the waste charges, which are a requirement of EU and Irish law.

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