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(en) On the Frontline - Resistance #14

From Al S <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Mon, 5 Aug 2002 15:03:27 -0400 (EDT)


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LAID OFF WORKERS at the ?Irish Glass Bottle? recycling
plant, Ringsend, Dublin, are occupying the factory in
opposition to their former employer?s refusal to pay
them their full redundancy. The employers, Ardagh plc,
have annual turnover of over 300 million euro, trading
profit of 26 million euro last year, have just opened
a new factory in Italy, and claim a massive share of
the glass market, so no one can say ?the company? fell
on hard times.

Ardagh can cuts costs and make a bigger profit by
dumping 375 people on the dole queue (and there were
originally over a thousand employed there), and not
even paying them the proper redundancy, and thus be
more successful, with a bigger profit margin, and more
attractive to prospective investors, with more capital
for expansion and greater competitiveness on the
market. We live in a society geared for redundancy.
However unemployment is not the onlysocial cost of
this closure, the Ringsend plant is the only glass
recycling operation in the Republic, so there is an
environmental cost also. Because of the value of the
plant, machinery and site it is on the occupiers have
a good chance of forcing the company to pay the full
redundancy. 


IN BELFAST, nearly 1000 people gathered outside
Belfast International airport in support of 24 sacked
airport security workers. The workers were sacked
because of their part in a strike deemed ?illegal? by
their employer ICTS over different pay scales. ICTS,
who failed to contact the union after negotiations
failed, declared the strike the following day illegal
(with a top ATGWU official agreeing with them), and
then ?randomly? selected workers for dismissal. A
grass roots campaign has been set up to overturn the
management?s decisions and fight back.

There?s also trouble brewing at Manchester airport
which has been the target of a number of 2-hour
walkouts over safety concerns, and Heathrow and
Gatwick Baggage handlers are to strike for higher pay.
This combined with the continuing continent wide air
traffic controllers dispute is making life very
difficult for the bosses, who?ve been using the fall
out from the Sept 11 events to attack working
conditions.


MEANWHILE ACROSS THE WATER council workers, nearly a
million of whom were on a twenty-four strike on the
17th July, are paralysing local services in the first
national strike since 1979 - the infamous ?winter of
discontent?. Schools, libraries, museums, leisure
centres and council offices were closed and rubbish
was left uncollected as the workers rejected the 3%
pay offer and demanded a 6% rise. Many council workers
are actually paid less now than in 1979! And it is not
just the council workers who are fighting back. 

Thousands of London Underground drivers, station staff
and signallers brought the tube to a standstill with a
24 hour stoppage, in protest at the continuing plans
to forge ahead with the Public-Private Partnership
(PPP). Also in transport, there are to be a series of
48-hour strikes on First Northwest trains in a pay
dispute. And what about the posties and firefighters?
The posties are threatening one day nationwide strikes
next month if Consignia?s plans to sell off the
facilities department (£1 Billion) goes ahead -
they?re worried that this will effect their ability to
stay in the current pension plan, as well as all the
other ludicrous plans management are paid to come up
with. Meanwhile, the fire-fighters are also close to
calling a countrywide strike in September over lack of
pay upgrades for new skills - like the council
workers, this would be the first such stoppage since
the last Labour government .

Finally, in Glasgow, Royal Infirmary cleaners, porters
and cooks are being shafted by the sinister Sodexho.
They?re paid much less than fellow workers who are
employed directly by the NHS and are demanding a £1000
lump sum in compensation.

******************************************************

>From the pages of Resistance#14, regular monthly
bulletin of the Anarchist Federation Ireland, now
available in PDF and text format at:

http://www.afireland.cjb.net

http://flag.blackened.net/af
http://flag.blackened.net/af/alba


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