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(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #90 - Irish Examiner does an Irish Ferries by James McBarron + THAT'S CAPITALISM

Date Sun, 02 Apr 2006 20:26:34 +0300

We were assured during the Irish Ferries
saga that it could only happen because it
was a maritime industry and landbound
Irish jobs were safe. Many newspapers
editorialised against escalation and
for reasoned negotiation etc, the Irish
Examiner was no different.
But a story absent by and large from the
Irish media has been the Examiner Group's
move to shed its print workers and replace
them with lower paid workers in a `new com-
pany` which will print it's stable of papers on
contract. Under the new arrangement work-
ers in Ballina and Cork city were invited to
agree redundancy, redeployment or a trans-
fer to the `new firm' - under new conditions
of course. Out of a staff of almost 90 only
eleven are transferring to the `new' firm.
Many who took redundancy and then ap-
plied for work at the new plant discovered
that trained printers were unwanted and
were given short shrift. Instead the `new'
company, Web Concepts, is looking for print
technicians and is proposing to pay them in
the region of &19,000 per year, quite a drop
from the &40,000 average of the old work-
Redeployment of workers is something of
a joke as the qualified printers are unlikely
to easily adjust to answering phones all day
or training as reporters, in fact the Examiner
had no intention of doing so and discouraged
any such illusions. Relocation to the new
company was also discouraged and the few
who did will find a very new working regime
and conditions.
Redundancy conditions are extremely good
with five weeks per year served plus another
two from the state. We cannot help but think
that good jobs with good conditions have
again been lost and that the next genera-
tion of print workers will have to fight long
and hard to get anywhere near this situation
The Examiner of course does very well out
of this. They get a new printing works with
cheaper labour, they have sold their city cen-
tre property for millions to developer Owen
O`Callaghan and they are rid of a highly un-
ionised and effective group of workers. The
future looks bright for Irish Examiner publi-
cations as long as you are not a worker.

Slaving your life away just so you can make
ends meet; having no say in the major deci-
sions that affect your life; criminal politicians
and businessmen plundering the country.
Try to do something about it and they'll lock
you up. Yes,

Bertie - One of ours?
The average industrial wage in the
26 counties is &30,000. Bertie Ahern
received no less than 5 pay rises in
the 6 months up to the end of 2005.
He now gets &252,000 a year, plus all
sorts of perks and `expenses' - like
his &28,000 a year for make up&
Sick and sicker
Hunger and malnutrition are killing
nearly six million children a year in
sub-Saharan Africa. According to the
UN Food & Agriculture Organisation
this is more than were dying 10 years
ago. The main killers are preventable
diseases like diarrhoea, measles,
malaria and pneumonia. The
medicines exist; the poor just can't
afford them.
More Big Earners.
1,250 barristers and solicitors earn
more than &200,000 a year.
[from 2002, the most recent year for
which figures are available]
It also emerged that 80 of the people
earning more than 200k paid no tax
whatsoever - this includes 5 people
who earned more than 1 million.
Money for Nothing&
Although the Northern Ireland
Assembly was suspended in October
2002, it has cost taxpayers £78 million
(euro 113 million) since then. Each
of the 108 Assembly members is
receiving £85,000 (euro 123,000) a
year for doing nothing.
Euro Billions.
Ireland now has six euro billionaires,
up from four last year. The combined
wealth of Irelands 250 wealthiest
bosses is &42.3bn. And that's just the
money they declare to the tax office&
The top six are: Hilary Weston,
&7.286bn; Tony O'Reilly, &1.897bn ;
John Dorrance, &1.857bn; Dermot
Desmond, &1.239bn; Sean Quinn,
&1.157bn; Tony Ryan; &1.114bn

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