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(en) Workers Solidarity No 73 - SIPTU election changes nothing

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 1 Dec 2002 11:05:26 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

The counting is over, SIPTU has a new General Secretary.
Joe O'Flynn (the current regional secretary for the south
west) has been voted into the post. Yet another bureaucrat
&endash; more of the same.

O'Flynn defeated Noel Dowling (the same Noel Dowling
who described himself as a "socialist" but supported
management during the recent pilots' strike at Dublin
Airport) by just over five thousand votes. O'Flynn got
57,592 votes compared to Dowling's 52,293.

Radical left wing candidate and factory worker Des Derwin
got 7,512 votes. Unlike the other two candidates, Des had
sod all access to the media. He had to take his annual
holidays in order to campaign and had to finance his leaflets
through a credit union loan.

Des had stood in the election http://struggle.ws/wsm/ws/2002/72/siptu.html
to raise the issues of
increasing democracy in the union, opposing 'social
partnership' deals with the state and employers, and
supporting workers who want to take on their bosses. Des
also sought to emphasise that the general secretary is
supposed to implement the decisions of the union
conference rather than independently make new polices (at
least that's the theory!).

As he said "This is not about getting Des Derwin elected. It
is about the best showing for a different, a changed and
forceful, SIPTU, with far greater member input. I am
standing on a platform of change, revitalisation and the
return of our Union to independence, fighting-form and
control from below by the general membership".

The big lesson from this contest is how weak the opposition
in SIPTU is. 6.7% is not a good vote! There is no opposition
network, simply a number of individuals who are fairly
isolated from each other.

The one good thing we can take from all this is that those
7,512 votes came as a result of hard work by Des and no
more than about a dozen others.

We know a fair few 'dissidents' in our union - but the work
of bringing them together to change the structures and
policies is still ahead of us.

                 Alan MacSimoin (SIPTU member)

                 See also

       Workplace struggles and the unions
 analysis of the unions alongside specific coverage of strikes
         and workplace disputes in Ireland

This page is from the print version of the Irish
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'  http://struggle.ws/worksol.html .

We also  provide PDF  http://struggle.ws/ws/pdf.html files of
all our publications for you to print out and distribute locally

Print out the PDF file of this issue http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/ws/73.html

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