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Mobilise Ireland & Dissent not supportive of unionised transport to G8

category international | summit mobilisations | opinion/analysis author Friday June 24, 2005 16:28author by Carl H - ICTU (personal capacity/opinion) Report this post to the editors

Article below

I realised this while talking to a union aquaintance in Belfast, who I know also reads Indymedia, in the last couple of days... both groups travelling to the G8 from Dublin - Mobilise Ireland (socialist, including SWP and IAWM) and Dissent! (anarchist, including DGN and WSM) have been either promoting people to go with or employing non-unionised transport themselves.

If people, specifically "activists", were thinking of going to the G8 in Scotland then I think they should have looked at other options instead of reccomending people to travel with Ryanair or paying for private bus operators. There is a good public transport system to Belfast and then the boat to Scotland is also quite easy to get on yourselves. The public train, public bus, and ferrys are all unionised workforces, and are guaranteed maximum working hours per week plus benefits and security. In cases where workers are being exploited within these industries, the workforce often bands together in solidarity, as was the case with the Filipino woman in the West, when the crew looked after her when she refused to leave the ship, despite being ordered to do so by Irish Ferries. So too the railworkers in Cork threatened action after a ticket collector was not reinstated after a labour court reccomendation said he was unfairly dismissed.

Private companies like Mortons, Eirebus, Hyland etc usually make their drivers work long (illegal & dangerous) hours on routs, and they are not unionised. Mortons operate the 'circle line' and Eirebus operate the 'URbus' line in the suburbs, as well as the Aircoach route who now have a non-unionised route to Belfast from Dublin as far as I know, and have constantly tried to privatise existing Dublin Bus routes, both these routes in the suburbs do not give free transport to old or people with social welfare cards.

Ryanair, and Michael O'Leary specifically, have been constantly trying over the last few months to thwart pilots attempts at self-representation, through the courts. It is a bit frustrating to hear a group like Mobilise Ireland encouraging people to use them to fly to Scotland, while at the same time preaching the message of anti-corporate politics. Likewise the Dissent! people are also involved in the "Get Up Stand Up" campaign, but are employing a non-unionised company to bring people over on both their long and short bus trip.

Admittedly I just think it is fairly hypocritical to be going to a mass protest against casualisation, privatisation, precarity etc, and protesting for workers rights when people dont support public transport or unionised companies for the sake of an extra tenner or twenty euros. You might save a few quid in the short term but in the long run you're only lining the pockers of some prick like Michael O'Leary and helping them to oppress people who try to get organised.

Its not like Genoa where it is a long way away and there was a language barrier, its right next door and the UK transport system is quite easy to grasp. I reckon if you had got on to someone like ex-ILDA Brendan Ogle (longest train strike in history in Ireland) he'd have been able to sort you out with some sort of 'special' up to Belfast if there was a large group going. I have the name of a NBRU bus driver who would also be sympathetic if anyone had wanted it. In fact if my memory serves me right he was in Genoa with a couple of other Dublin Bus drivers. They probably wold have sorted both groups out with specials. Its just a pity and it in the end only adds to the wrong image some union workers have of the "anti capitalist movement" as being wasters.

author by dissenterpublication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 17:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but a bit late in the day, I'd say if you'd brought this up with either of the groups before you might have convinced them.
On ryanair though, I thought the pilots had organised themselves even if mic o'leary doesn't recognise it, i'm not sure if a boycott
of the airline has been called for or is wanted by the airlines staff. A special train would have been a good idea though, how many would you need to rent one

author by Acidpublication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 17:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

should of got involved Carl. Dissent and Mobolise have been planning these buses for months now. You waited until now to write a nice piece on Indymedia. You let us all down and Im dissapointed in you.

author by D'otherpublication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 18:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have any of these unions passed motions in support of any of the mobilisations?

Maybe if they had there would have been the possibility of them subsidising the buses over through providing them themselves.

As valid as your points are, it is a real pity you didn't raise them earlier. The fact that you didn't just leaves me itching with the feeling that your just hankering to have a go.

author by Unionised workerpublication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 18:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Carl might work for ICTU and in some ways I can understand your knee jerk reactions but it's not rocket science.

author by hs - sp (per cap)publication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 18:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Across europe at similar demonstrations the unions themselves organised trains and buses. In all the mass mobilisations I attended while I lived in Italy the CGIL (the italian SIPTU) federation organised and subsidised trains and busses. Unfortunately in Ireland the unions don't do so (or probably in england and scotland). So the question may be why don't the unions organise anything or support irish people going to the protest?
Incidently while I'm at it, the demonstrations themselves were generally called for and organised by the unions.

Don't blame a couple of dozen anarchists with no finances for not organising transport properly while the thousands strong and well financed unions did nothing.

author by Amusedpublication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 18:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I reckon if you had got on to someone like ex-ILDA Brendan Ogle (longest train strike in history in Ireland) he'd have been able to sort you out with some sort of 'special' up to Belfast if there was a large group going."

Sweet an ICTU official bigging up Brendan Ogle. Ah the irony of it all.

author by dissentRpublication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 20:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

for your information Dissent! are using a unionised bus company to travel to scotland, please check your facts before making bullshit accusations.

Where's the ictu mobilisation to the g8?

There is none, the unions are more a tool for controlling workers than supporting them.

author by publication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 21:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yet again indymedia passes off badly written opinion pieces as a news report. "I realised this while talking to a union aquaintance in Belfast" and
"as far as I know", how about some supported factual evidence?

This piece should be removed from the newswire or at least changed to an opinion piece.

Also if you check the related link, there are two links provided by dissent in that newswire piece, one is to the (as you point out) public ferries and their unionised workforce and another for a scottish website which encourages the use of public transport (you've already covered this point, so what's there to argue). It has also been pointed out that dissent are using unionised buses. I can't find anywhere else that dissent have publicly encouraged people to use non unionised transport.

Petty, petty, petty, petty.

Related Link:
author by Reality Checkpublication date Fri Jun 24, 2005 23:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I dont think you can criticise Indymedia for the original post. It is to me an original piece and frankly fair comment. You cant blame a Trade Unionist for raising an issue that means something to him and the wider movement. We all make mistakes! Takes a better person to learn from them.

author by Lazy Farepublication date Sun Jun 26, 2005 07:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What does ICTU make of calls for free trade, when many of its members are kept in dues by protectionism.

TGWU (affiliates of ICTU) support MPH, but nothing practical is offered from Ireland.

author by Lazy typepublication date Sun Jun 26, 2005 07:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what does ICTU make of calls for FAIR TRDE...?

author by tom Joadpublication date Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What a turn up for the books. ICTU reprimanding people who are active in the fight for a better world, when all ICTU do is sit on the high hole of their arse. A couple of questions carl.

What have ICTU done to unionise these non-union company's

What about the decision by your dominant member Siptu doing a sweetheart deal with Connex for Luas members joining Siptu only - and not to mention a no strike clause. leaving them at the mercy of unrestrained bully style managment dictats

What did you do support the strike action taken by the GAMA workers

why are you accepting the privatisation of Aer lingus which will open the back door to yellow pack jobs, wage and conditions and eventually usher in non-union company's into the market to drive down existing union members conditions.

The fact remains that ICTU have done ABSOLUTEY NOTHING to defend the interests of existing members let alone the mass of mainly low paid workers who aren't in unions. You are obviously not aware of the way real debate and discourse takes place out side the plush board rooms of partnership meetings, but some would say - get your own house in order before coming on here lecturing people on morals that ICTU have long ago abandoned

author by Joepublication date Sun Jun 26, 2005 14:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ICTU of course is not something a worker can join but rather then central boy of the federation that groups together most Irish unions. So Carl is an employee of ICTU - someone who gets a wage supposadely for helping to build the unions. So really a lot of the questions thrown back at Carl are quite legtimate - where are the ICTU sponsered buses? Where even was the ICTU advise months ago when the busses were being booked? What exactly is the point at this late stage of this critical article if not simply to undermine in the eyes of readers those who have put so much work into organising means for people to travel together to the G8. And why the attempt to link it to 'Stand up for your rights' when no link exists beyond the fact that some people are involved in both?

Beyond that there is something quite sad in the fact that Carl appears to have written this critique without even bothering to check if his guess that the particular bus company used was not unionised was correct! A lot of the people travelling on the buses have a view of the unions as being useless - unfortunately this article can only add to that. Which makes things a lot harder for people like the 'Stand up for your rights' crowd to challenge that viewpoint - and unlike Carl they are not drawing a wage from the unions.

author by WASADpublication date Mon Jun 27, 2005 09:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

agree with all the points made about how crap ictu are but Carl is right, union organised transport should be used where possible.

After all we should be trying to make poverty history here as well.

author by the shadowpublication date Mon Jun 27, 2005 17:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Carl made a good point- Use unionised transport when and where available.
There was no need for the zealots to have a go at the man.
Blaming him for not coming up with the idea sooner is a bit pathetic.

Given the way of the world many of us on the left will need to mobilise for future events.
So file Carls suggestion in your memory banks so that the next time you need to take to the road check out the unionised option..
Honestly some of you prattling on is a bit juvenile See you all on Thursday evening.

author by publication date Mon Jun 27, 2005 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dissent! have and did! Ffs! Read the other comments!

Dissent! are using unionised transport!

author by Chekovpublication date Mon Jun 27, 2005 22:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

His article was perhaps the most pathetic attempt at a poorly concealed sectarian slander that indymedia has ever seen (our trolls are amateurs compared to some). The article is based on a lie, there is simply no truth in it as has been pointed out. Even if it was true it would have been simply a nasty bit of hurling from the ditch, but when it is pure bullshit, it beggars belief that anybody could be such an idiot as to defend it. (are you carl's shadow? )

author by seanpublication date Tue Jun 28, 2005 01:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a sectarian post by an ICTU bureaucrat. When I say sectarian I mean sectarian in the real sense not the way it is often used on this site and by some on the left.

ICTU has doen little or nothng to mobilise for the G8 protests. ICTU have also doen little or nothing to unionise workers in these bus companies or anywhere for that matter. Unionised workers have declined as a percentage of the workforce not because of the SP, SWP, DGN/WSM, ISN... but because of the complete unwillingness and at this stage inability of union leaders and officials to actually go into workplaces and organise workers.

What this ICTU bureacrat should do is instead of bitching on this site, he should get some of the the multi millions that lie idle in unions bank accounts and use it to go on a massive recruitment campaign. Get into the offices, shop floors, call centres and factories, hold meetings, take on the bosses and the multi nationals, and sign people up!

author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Jun 28, 2005 02:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As apparently Dissent! _are_ using unionised buses!

author by shadowpublication date Tue Jun 28, 2005 18:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if all the buses are unionised then Carl has got it wrong. Plain and simple
The point I was making is that in future we should look at unionised options for transport. where possible for future events
I would have thought that Indymedia was a forum for debate and discussion rather that vitroil. Try to be more constructive

author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Jun 28, 2005 18:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

shadow writes: "I would have thought that Indymedia was a forum for debate and discussion rather that vitroil"

Indymedia is a place where you are supposed to report NEWS. It is NOT a discussion forum or bulletin board. When someone like Carl H publishes a confident claim like the one above on the NEWSWIRE then it is legitimate to post comments correcting or updating the information that he claims.

When his post is, apparently, a complete fabrication then it's a waste of everyone's time.

The purpose of the comments section is NOT to have a discussion, it's to supply information.

In this case the only information which is worth supplying is that Carl H has published a lie, that the Dissent people are using unionised buses and that the ICTU has done nothing to facilitate activists.

Clear disagreement is not vitriol.

author by the shadowpublication date Wed Jun 29, 2005 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Clear disagreement is not vitroil" according to your Mr Risible. I agree.
I would have thought that comments by your comrade in cyberspace Mr Chekov like" it beggars belief that anybody could be such an idiot as to defend it. (are you carl's shadow? )" qualifies as pure vitroil.
Debate and disagreements are both necessary and helpful and hopefully move the debate on. Cheap and petty petulance does not do so.
Have mercy on those amongst us who are not on the high intellectual and politically pure plateau that you enlightened ones inhabit.
i dont know the Carl person who began this string.
Outing him as an ICTU employee must have been such a buzz for some of you folk who live on the web.
His original point that unionised transport should be used was a good one. He would seem to have been wide of the mark regarding some of the transport arrangements for G8.The fact that many of the groups using such transport are using unionised labour is to be welcomed. I

author by Joepublication date Wed Jun 29, 2005 17:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey Shadow I did not 'out' Carl as an ICTU employee. He included the ICTU tag as his organisation details and I just pointed out something that would be obvious to many union members but might be missed by others reading the article.

It is rather poor that he hasn't returned to withdraw some of his false allegations - this just further damages those actually working to encourage a more active involvement with the unions amongst 'anti-capitalists'. Your own attempts to gloss over the false nature of the allegations hardly helps either.

Come down off the high horse, you might be more convincing as part of the crowd rather than preaching from above our heads.

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