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Friday, November 14, 2008

Paddy thinks about: The importance of the trade un

Views: 2,154
Comments: 55

Anyway, the importance of the trade union movement is a topic which is particularly close to my heart. In my opinion nothing could possibly be more important than worker's properly organising. Without that we have absolutely nothing. It takes precedence over everything as far as I am concerned, because if we do it correctly everything else will flow from it, if we fail then everything else is worth nothing in the long term. Organising workers takes precedence over gay rights, drugs, animal rights, abortion, the health service, everything.

"But Paddy that's crazy, unions are evil, my radio told me so"

Shut up and turn off Newstalk and Joe Duffy.

Every single right that workers have today is the product of the blood, sweat, tears and sleepless nights of generations of workers. Workers who organised, and by organising I don’t mean simply getting a union card, I mean activism. They saw when things were wrong, when something that was their right was being denied to them, when their brothers were being exploited. They saw these things and they didn’t sit back and say "well that's capitalism", they said "I will not stand for this". They stood up and they fought and that is the reason that we now have workers rights. That is the reason that your employer can't push you around.

At the end of the day it is you that are the union, and it is you that must stand up for your rights and the rights of your comrades.

"But Paddy that's crazy, the unions didn’t grant me any of my rights, that was the government"

No it wasn't. Ok, well technically it was, but only in so far as they moved the pen on the paper. And they only did that because it was made impossible for them to ignore by the union movement.

The following rights, which people now take for granted, were won by the union movement.

39 Hour working week

Holidays

Minimum wage

Unfair dismissals laws

Equality of employment laws

Health and Safety

Terms and conditions of employment

Pension scheme

Overtime pay

Yearly pay rises

Thanks to the union movement your employer must obey these rights, they are enshrined in law.

"So why would I join a union then?"

Today, in this country and internationally, there is a movement to destroy the Unions. There are a group of people who want nothing more than to destroy the movement. Why? One of the reasons is because all these rights were put in place and are maintained by the trade union movement. If that movement disappears then so will those rights as the employers unions will steadily erode them. The government may have signed the laws onto the statute books, but they have no effective method of enforcing them. The only way that these rights can be upheld is if the union movement does it. If you are in a union you have recourse if your rights are violated, if not then you have nothing.

Plus governments are fickle, and legislation can be removed. Your employer is in a union (ISMEY, or IBEC etc), why do you suppose that is? It's (in part, I don’t think all employers are evil or anything) to erode the rights that you have. If the trade union movement disappears they will be successful in this aim, and it will not take long before we are back to the state we were in before these rights were enacted (The industrial revolution)

"Ok grand, but what will they do for me today"

Ok, if you're too much of a selfish dickbag to join a union in thanks for all they've done in the past and the fact that they keep those things alive then allow me to give you a more pressing reason to join.

Being in a union means that you can't be bullied by your employer. If you're not in a union and your employer doesn't pay you or dismisses you unfairly then you have no recourse. Sure, you can hire a lawyer but so can he, and he has the advantage of having money. If you're in a union you will have an official who will act as your lawyer, and will be far better at employment legislation than any lawyer. Trade union officials deal with employment law every single day; they know it like the backs of their hands. They don’t lose. I know officials who have come up against expensive legal TEAMS and still won. Check the records for yourself. You won’t get a lawyer for a few Euros a week. No way. And that's only one of the benefits, unions are not limited to the courts, they recognise that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Employers are just much less likely to push you around if you’re in a union. They are effective. Prevention is better than cure, but should you need a cure one will be there. You are not alone.

"I'm an employer; I don't want my people in a union"

Why not? What is the disadvantage to you? If you are a good employer and you are doing what the law says you should be doing and you are not bullying your employees then you won't have a problem will you?

Do you want to do things quickly or do you want to them correctly? Unions only encourage the latter.

So I implore anyone who bothers to read this. If you have a job please consider joining your union, and don’t just join and then sit back. Get active; get involved, you never know where it will lead you. It can't do you harm. If you're not working yet then make sure you join when you eventually are.

Thanks for reading.
5:34 pm - 55 comments - 12 Kudos - Report!
Comments
Wounded Hamster wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 3:07pm

Great post, nice and easy to follow. Why don't you do something about the current state of unions in the UK (there's probably a similar situation in the Republic) where the leadership is ineffective and cares more about the bosses 'Labour' Party tan they do about rank and file workers? Sad state of affairs, what if I want to join a union to protect my rights but I don't to implicitly support the neoliberal consensus of the current government?

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Wounded Hamster wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 3:08pm

Oh and here be a kudo.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 3:27pm

^
I would put I don't have a lot of knowledge of the state of unions in the UK. Ireland is lucky in that our labour party is not in power, and it's almost always easier to be in opposition.
The thing that people complain about in Ireland is "social partnership", which is where the Irish trade unions and employers negotiate with the government for pay rises etc each year, thereby avoiding industrial turmoil. Some people don't like that because they feel it makes the unions too close with the government. What these people forget is that THEY are the union. It is democratic. If they don't like the agreement then they can vote against it. Of course the rank and file members don;t vote against it, because they recognise it as a good thing.
The same I'm sure should be the case in Britain. If you're a member you will vote on the direction that the union takes. If you become a shop steward then yo will have even more impact. If you don't like the decisions the union is making then vote against them.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 3:27pm

To be honest, it is a difficult balancing act for unions. They have to be seen to be involved in the big issues with government etc, but they can't forget their members. The union I'm active with hasn't forgotten that thankfully. Any union that forgets its members is lost.

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captaincrunk wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 7:09pm

Unions aren't useful anymore. Not in the U.S. They make it harder for people to get work.

Look at the classic example of the masons guild. They charge so much for labor, and make it illegal for anyone else to do the same job they do for less.

If I have the skills to do the same work as you and I'm willing to charge less, why shouldn't I get the work?

Also, Unions increase cost, which is bad for the consumer.

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Nacho_Novo wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 9:13pm

Commie Wankers.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 11:26pm

captaincrunk wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 at 6:09pm :


Unions aren't useful anymore. Not in the U.S. They make it harder for people to get work.

Look at the classic example of the masons guild. They charge so much for labor, and make it illegal for anyone else to do the same job they do for less.

If I have the skills to do the same work as you and I'm willing to charge less, why shouldn't I get the work?

Also, Unions increase cost, which is bad for the consumer.

I don't agree with making an occupation a closed shop, and I don't agree with the tactics or running of the unions in the USA.
In Ireland we don't have that. You won't be refused a job because you are not a union member.
They don't necessarily increase costs, and if they are being responsible, which they should be, then they certainly won't.
Nacho_Novo wrote on Nov 15th, 2008 at 8:13pm :


Commie Wankers.

Thank you for your useful and intelligent contribution.
Dickbag.

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jimmy_neutron wrote on Nov 16th, 2008 8:49pm

im not denying that unions do benfit workers in certain ways, but isnt there something to do with unions and the HSE meaning that nurses arent allowed to change the bulbs in hospitals, because they are reducing the need for the janitors/caretakers and such, and that similar situations are happening all across the workplace making it unefficient and costing the taxpayer millions?

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 16th, 2008 11:37pm

jimmy_neutron wrote on Nov 16th, 2008 at 7:49pm :


im not denying that unions do benfit workers in certain ways, but isnt there something to do with unions and the HSE meaning that nurses arent allowed to change the bulbs in hospitals, because they are reducing the need for the janitors/caretakers and such, and that similar situations are happening all across the workplace making it unefficient and costing the taxpayer millions?

Yep. That's called Demarcation. It's thje biggest stick that anti-union people love pulling out of their asses to try to beat us with, because by portraying it in a certain way they can make the unions look petty and irrational (and I'll admit, the unions aren't perfect, and sometimes demarcation disputes are petty, but not in this case)

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 16th, 2008 11:37pm

Let me ask you, why in God's name would a nurse, someone who has been trained to do a highly specific job and has spent 4+ years in top universities in a high powered course, be changing light bulbs? Do you see lecturers in universities doing that? Do you see Area Managers changing the lightbulbs in Lidl or Aldi? No. Do you know why? Because these people are highly qualified and have trained to do a very specific job, one that has nothing to do with changing lightbulbs. If I spend years triaging to be a nurse then that's, presumably, because I wanted to help sick people using my medical training, not be a maintenance guy. Guess who is a maintenance guy, and trained to be a maintenance guy? The MAINTENANCE GUY. Why should they be asked to do something that has nothing to do with their job description or training? Why doesn't the Hospital Manager do it in that case.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 16th, 2008 11:38pm

The fact is that we have specific people to do specific jobs, and the maintenance team (which may include an electrician etc) are paid to maintain the hospital, which includes changing lightbulbs. It is laughable that someone would complain, in the HSE of all places (a sector that is heavily into their own demarcation practises, without the unions help at all) that demarcation disputes by the union is responsible for inefficiency. How is it inefficient that someone who's job it is to change lightbulbs changes the things? I direct you to the essay "Do you want things done fast, or do you want them done right". Surely a nurse has nurses duties to attend to.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 16th, 2008 11:38pm

It really is the height of hypocrisy for Mary Harney to complain about this. She frequently talks about how various things are not in HER remit and are the responsibility of someone else, be it the EU, Brendan Drumm, some other HSE official, the Taoiseach or a former health minister. Of course the real issue is that she is a minister who is completely unsuited for the task assigned to her, she should not have that portfolio. Her part were so decimated that they no longer exist, and her policy of privatisation and co location have been damned by the public, yet she proceeds. She thinks she is a ruler rather than a representative, and would want to get her act together before her party are history...
...Oh wait.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 16th, 2008 11:38pm

Furthermore if the advice of the unions had been heeded a bit more in the HSE things might be a little better. Remember the controversy about how dirty our hospitals are? Know why that is? It's because out "efficiency" obsessed health minister (for efficiency read "cheapness") decided to get rid of the old unionised permanent cleaning staff and instead hire agencies to do it for the cheapest price.
The agency workers have no real reason to do as good a job as the old staff. The old staff had a permanent pensionable position. Agency workers don't. The old staff were held responsible, agency workers aren't, because the nature of agency labour makes them temporary.

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Craigo wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 6:43pm

Paddy's rants are preaching to this choir, but is still glad to see something nicely laid out for those who don't really get it. What I will weigh in though is...

The whole point of democracy is for a Government to be representative of the masses of individuals. The majority of people in this country are not employers, so why should the Government bend over to employers? They wouldn't mind to, as it does have its benefits, however, they will listen when people in collections get together and make it clear they don't like how things are run in a civil manner. They will have to react if they want to keep their power.

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Craigo wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 6:43pm

The Government should be run by its people as much as the Government runs its people. If you don't like it, you should be able to make a stand. Unions do this to both the employer and to the Government in some cases. It's about having your way if the masses agree. That's what democracy should be about. That's just what the unions are about; being those masses for democratic change, whether it be in Parliament or in your job.

If you like democracy, you better like your unions. If not, you're not being democratic. Unless you're being an anarcho-syndicalist or something similar.

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Craigo wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 6:48pm

[QUOTE=Nacho Novo]Commie Wankers.[/QUOTE]
I would reply to this in a mannerly way if you didn't genuinely believed the reason a pope hasn't invaded the UK yet is because of our monarch.

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jimmy_neutron wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 10:14pm

Paddy's posts


erm, just so you know im kinda on the fence about the whole thing, mainly becasue i dont know enough about the subject. You seemed to have a very emotional response to my post, and looking back, i think perhaps you might have read it in a kind of sarcstic light. Believe me there was none of that intended:). Also under no circumstances do i want to be known as a defender of the HSE.

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jimmy_neutron wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 10:14pm

But on the subject of Demarcation. I can see where you are coming from about the whole people who have trained and worked hard to be in a certain position, and that they shouldnt be worries about having to perform such mundane everyday tasks, but i guess the reason i brought it up is on principle. A patient could be without a bulb, which admittedly is a rather minor complaint(especially with the condition of our hospitals), but instead of the nurse assigned to that particular patient just spending five minutes changing the damn thing, instead it must be done by the janitor/electrician/caretaker who could be tied up for the rest of the day, or out sick or something, meaning that the patient is going for a long time without a bulb. Now again as i said its a minor complaint, but couldnt the principle of this be applied to something where the problem has a lot more weight. Tbh i cant think of a suitable example, but i will be back when i think of one.

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jimmy_neutron wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 10:14pm

Also i completely agree with you on the point of Mary Harney being completely unsuitable for her job. In my opinion the whole cabinet shift of ministers around is a complete farce. Take for example Minsiter Micheal Martin. I cannot understand how that man went from Minister for Education, to Minister for Helath, to Minister for Trade and Enviroment(i think that was the title). Surely one person cannot be educated enough to competently be capable of taking charge of a country's health, education and trade departments.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 10:58pm

To Mr Neutron


Nah it wasn't emotional, at least I didn;t intend it to come across that way.

Look, if things are being done correctly then there should never be a situation in which a nurse has to change a lightbulb. There are entire maintainence crews in hospitals, I can't imagine them being tied up for an entire day anymore than a nurse should be.
You see this assumes that the nurse has nothing better to do, she does, it's called nursing. 5 minutes changing a lightbulb is 5 minutes she should be nursing patients, which is what she (or he) is good at. The maintenance crew should always be around and available to do it, and for the most part they are. This entire ting was a non issue created by anti union jackasses who couldn't hold their own when directly confronted.

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Nacho_Novo wrote on Nov 20th, 2008 9:36pm

Joke, you PC poofs.

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jimmy_neutron wrote on Nov 20th, 2008 10:58pm

^yeah cos it was incredibly obvious that you were joking from your post

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meh! wrote on Nov 23rd, 2008 7:08am

Furthermore if the advice of the unions had been heeded a bit more in the HSE things might be a little better. Remember the controversy about how dirty our hospitals are? Know why that is? It's because out "efficiency" obsessed health minister (for efficiency read "cheapness") decided to get rid of the old unionised permanent cleaning staff and instead hire agencies to do it for the cheapest price.
The agency workers have no real reason to do as good a job as the old staff. The old staff had a permanent pensionable position. Agency workers don't. The old staff were held responsible, agency workers aren't, because the nature of agency labour makes them temporary.


Fairly happy to say that in Scotland we're getting rid of privatel cleaning initiatives after people realised that hiring in private companies to do it wasn't worth people dying of C Difficile.

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Wounded Hamster wrote on Nov 26th, 2008 4:27am

Craigo wrote on Nov 19th, 2008 at 6:43pm :
If you like democracy, you better like your unions. If not, you're not being democratic. Unless you're being an anarcho-syndicalist or something similar.


Firstly, I agree with most your other sentiments. However Anarcho-syndicalists believe fervently in democracy, that's the foundation of their entire philosophy, and similarly the very much like their unions. That's what syndicalism is, they believe unions are the most relevant social institutions for a functioning society.



Secondly, on the demarcation debate, if we follow the same logic that the nurse should change the lightbulb if the maintenence guy is busy, then the maintenence guy should treat the patient if the nurse is busy. Reductio ad absurdum?

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Craigo wrote on Dec 2nd, 2008 9:01pm

I know. Anarcho-syndicalist are very democratic, however, they do not believe in democracy. There's a difference :)

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Craigo wrote on Dec 2nd, 2008 9:02pm

Sorry, the point I was trying to make was that Anarcho-syndicalists do not like democracy, but like trade unions. They kinda break the point I was trying to make, I just pointed it out to be pedantic :p

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captaincrunk wrote on Dec 2nd, 2008 9:23pm

meh! wrote on Nov 23rd, 2008 at 12:08am :


Furthermore if the advice of the unions had been heeded a bit more in the HSE things might be a little better. Remember the controversy about how dirty our hospitals are? Know why that is? It's because out "efficiency" obsessed health minister (for efficiency read "cheapness") decided to get rid of the old unionised permanent cleaning staff and instead hire agencies to do it for the cheapest price.
The agency workers have no real reason to do as good a job as the old staff. The old staff had a permanent pensionable position. Agency workers don't. The old staff were held responsible, agency workers aren't, because the nature of agency labour makes them temporary.


Fairly happy to say that in Scotland we're getting rid of privatel cleaning initiatives after people realised that hiring in private companies to do it wasn't worth people dying of C Difficile.

the reason the wrok better is their pensions? You don't need a union to get a pension

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Abunai X wrote on Dec 6th, 2008 9:48am

I agree with most of your blog, however I disagree with the part about not being bullied. Sure, you'll have less chance being bullied by your employer but what about being bullied by the union?

Whenever a union goes on a strike, there are always a small group who wish to go in and continue working. They should have that right. And the union never fails to attack them over that. I know people who have been gotten physically beaten up for wanting to work while the rest go on strike because they're "betraying the union".

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wouldyakindly wrote on Dec 18th, 2008 11:47pm

Whenever a union goes on a strike, there are always a small group who wish to go in and continue working. They should have that right. And the union never fails to attack them over that. I know people who have been gotten physically beaten up for wanting to work while the rest go on strike because they're "betraying the union".

Ah, the tyranny of the majority argument. people being bullied by their unions is obviously not a good thing, but at the end of the day, how can an issue be taken seriously if people are going to work anyway? People will always be selfish and want higher wages (which is achieved by striking), whether they're in a union or not. The inequality of pure capitalism lies in the fact that without unions, the employer CAN have higher wages, and the employee CANNOT. Therefore such incidents as this are a sacrifice we have to make for a fairer, more democratic world.

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pwnerer wrote on Dec 19th, 2008 1:02pm

Hah what a coincidence... I'm actually working on an project discussing the exact same thing... just a bit more formal and elaborate :p

Overall a very good introduction to unions.

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primusfan wrote on Dec 28th, 2008 12:08am

Organising workers takes precedence over gay rights, drugs, animal rights, abortion, the health service, everything.


I get a lot of flack for saying the same thing.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Jan 11th, 2009 4:58pm

captaincrunk wrote on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 9:18pm :
The union would lose it's only advantage if there wasn't a reason to hire union workers. Thats why the closed shops were popular. But unions suck as a general rule
They don't need an incentive to hire union workers. Workers join a union after they have gained employment. I spent time this summer recruiting members. We don't need closed shops.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Jan 11th, 2009 5:05pm

captaincrunk wrote on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 9:23pm :

the reason the wrok better is their pensions? You don't need a union to get a pension
No, the reason they work better is because they have an incentive to do so and an attachment to the place they are working for.
You do not NEED a union in order to get a pension but it certainly helps, we will ensure that you do get one.
If I had a cent for every time I've seen construction companies not complying with the registered agreement for construction (which stipulates that employers must have all employees in the pension scheme) I'd be a wealthy man. Unions ensure that employees are in this scheme and are pretty much the only force ensuring it.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Jan 11th, 2009 5:11pm

Abunai X wrote on Dec 6th, 2008 at 9:48am :


I agree with most of your blog, however I disagree with the part about not being bullied. Sure, you'll have less chance being bullied by your employer but what about being bullied by the union?

Whenever a union goes on a strike, there are always a small group who wish to go in and continue working. They should have that right. And the union never fails to attack them over that. I know people who have been gotten physically beaten up for wanting to work while the rest go on strike because they're "betraying the union".

Unions are responsible for much of the anti workplace harassment legislation and protection.

The union does not bully anyone. Workers must vote to go on strike and the union officials cannot work miracles and stop your co-workers from hating you if you are a scab and continue to work during the strike for your own personal gain, effectively giving a big "Fuck you" to your friends.

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Nacho_Novo wrote on Jan 12th, 2009 4:53pm

Unions are good, they allow for communication between the employer/s and the workers but government regulations aren't as they harm the balance of the market.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Jan 13th, 2009 4:05pm

Nacho_Novo wrote on Jan 12th, 2009 at 4:53pm :


Unions are good, they allow for communication between the employer/s and the workers but government regulations aren't as they harm the balance of the market.
Legislation wouldn't be necessary if employers could be trusted to treat workers fairly but sometimes they can't.

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ECwomantoneman wrote on Jan 13th, 2009 10:51pm

Nacho_Novo wrote on Jan 12th, 2009 at 4:53pm :


Unions are good, they allow for communication between the employer/s and the workers but government regulations aren't as they harm the balance of the market.


Coming from a Thatcherite, that's pretty daring stuff! :o


Anyways, nice blog man. Have had family ties with various trade unions for feck-knows-how-long so I guess I'm coming from a similar angle. :)

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Trickycindy wrote on Jan 15th, 2009 3:00pm

This is all good, but the Union bureaucracy will never allow the workers to take the necessary steps for a transition to workers control of the means of production, distribution and exchange.

TU's are only one side of the Workers movement coin. We need a political vanguard to allow workers to have workers control of the unions and shop floors stemming from committees that form a hierarchy of recallable delegates.

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original=punk wrote on Feb 2nd, 2009 3:38am

Unions make me happy inside. Except when the union works become the greedy ones. That gives a bad name to unions.
Examples: My mom's union wanting to strike for not getting a pay raise, with no reason for said pasy raise.
Local University prof's striking because they want a pay raise, leaving every university student without classes, and no classes being made up for the month or two however long the strike lasted.

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Nacho_Novo wrote on Mar 29th, 2009 5:56pm

I do not disagree with collective bargaining in principle but the main problem with TUs are that they are far too political and are like paramilitaries of the socialists.

And they are also too collectivistic.

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Mar 30th, 2009 2:43pm

Nacho_Novo wrote on Mar 29th, 2009 at 5:56pm :


I do not disagree with collective bargaining in principle but the main problem with TUs are that they are far too political and are like paramilitaries of the socialists.

And they are also too collectivistic.
Trade union officials come from a massive variety of background. The are usually leftist (although that's not always the case). Some are various forms of marxists, some are socialists, some are labour party supports, in Ireland some are Sinn Feiners, some even support more right wing parties like Fianna Fail and Fianna Gael, and others are greens.
They are certainly not paramilitaries.
They're own political affiliations is irrelevant anyway, because all union actions are voted on by the members, ordinary working people like me and you.

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Nacho_Novo wrote on Mar 31st, 2009 5:31pm

They certainly act like paramilitaries.

They are also too collectivistic and they diminish the self.

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Trickycindy wrote on May 2nd, 2009 8:32pm

Diminshing the self is a part of collective bargaining. Make your mind up.

I still maintain that the rank-and-file workers need to overthrow the union bureaucracy and run things on a system of recallable delegates, workers' control from below, smash the anti-union laws etc.

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AU79 XY wrote on May 8th, 2009 7:26pm

I disagree. I think the health service is much more important than trade unions.

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k1ng_pooh wrote on May 18th, 2009 3:41am

Your not from South Ireland are you?

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on May 20th, 2009 4:14pm

AU79 XY wrote on May 8th, 2009 at 7:26pm :


I disagree. I think the health service is much more important than trade unions.

I think that without a strong trade union movement we won't have a good health service.
k1ng_pooh wrote on May 18th, 2009 at 3:41am :


Your not from South Ireland are you?

I'm from the Republic of Ireland, Eire, which is the south part.

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imthehitcher wrote on Jun 9th, 2009 2:41pm

They certainly act like paramilitaries.



hahaha, oh you.

can't believe i never saw this before, great article, rant whatever. i hate anti-unionists, their memory seems highly selective about the use of the unions.
i think everyone should just been shown that simpsons spisode with the dental plan to understand how it can benefit the individual and the collective- since people may actually get it! >_<

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I.O.T.M wrote on Jun 23rd, 2009 12:49pm

Good blog. It opened my mind to what the unions do and i'll definitely join one once I find employment.

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Meths wrote on Jun 24th, 2009 7:35pm

Is it just me or should trade unions be more of a capitalist idea than a communist/socialist one? Without legal regulations, surely the only way for workers to secure good conditions would be by forming unions. I think it kind of shows how well lassiez-faire capitalism would really work out for the little guy because most capitalists are completely opposed to trade unions and legal regulations. You've got to have one or the other (or both).

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Jun 26th, 2009 1:50am

Meths wrote on Jun 24th, 2009 at 7:35pm :
Is it just me or should trade unions be more of a capitalist idea than a communist/socialist one? Without legal regulations, surely the only way for workers to secure good conditions would be by forming unions. I think it kind of shows how well lassiez-faire capitalism would really work out for the little guy because most capitalists are completely opposed to trade unions and legal regulations. You've got to have one or the other (or both).

I suppose the conditions n which they were originally formed were pretty much laizzies-faire capitalist. They're responsible for a lot of the change.
I think that in a laizzies-faire system things could go very well or very badly for unions. Depends. You could go as far as having them becoming the armies of the proletariat and setting up a socialist paradise or whatever, or you could have what happens in the 3rd world where the leaders are quietly murdered and suppressed.

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TOMMYB22 wrote on Oct 1st, 2009 11:43am

In the beginning of the read i was thinking "But Paddy, that's crazy" but as i read on i found it makes more and more sense. It was intelligent and while seemingly simple it's something that i never realized to the extent before.

'twas a good read *high five*

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stuff_kibbles wrote on Oct 15th, 2009 5:27am

Progress is a myth
If not for he who suffered and gave himself away
At the hands of fools and lesser men
False idols and kings
Who came to rule through circumstance
Work him like a dog
With a ball and chain and thanklessness

The dice have been cast
No turning back
Eyes on the ground
Where he will die
Feet nailed to the floor
Reason to be
Shoulder to the Plow

Facing down the wind
He'll see the way they'll never change
Watch his slow decay
As bottles drain and days go by
Forging his demise
Through poison vice to sap the mind
Iron was a will
Now passions wane and spirits die

The weight on his chest
Aches in his flesh
Dreams of a day that never comes
Ax pressed to the wheel
Bones ground to dust
Shoulder to the Plow

Ground down into dust for a taste of their good life
Left their screams, left their souls behind

Work him dead
Let him rot

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Okeefe Is Legit wrote on Nov 14th, 2009 7:52pm

Because of some stupid labor union my mom's coworkers decided to join, we're down a hundred bucks a month. This union isn't doing shit either, since her pay got cut after having been promised a raise.

Labor unions= fail

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 16th, 2009 2:06pm

Okeefe Is Legit wrote on Nov 14th, 2009 at 6:52pm :
Because of some stupid labor union my mom's coworkers decided to join, we're down a hundred bucks a month. This union isn't doing shit either, since her pay got cut after having been promised a raise.

Labor unions= fail

1. No-one will, can, or would ever want to force your mother, or anyone else, to join a trade union. Trade union leaders don't want members who aren't willing. They want dedicated members who are going to be as active as they can be. A union made up of of reluctant or apathetic people is useless.
2. No trade union (that I know of) charges anywhere near $100 a month for subscription. SIPTU (Ireland's largest trade union) charge between 1.90 and 4.20 a week depending on how much one earns a week. They don't like having to charge subs, but they have to have some form of funding. They allow unemployed people remain members for as little as .30c a week. All of those dues are also tax deductible.

Cntd...

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Ur all $h1ta wrote on Nov 16th, 2009 2:06pm

...

3. What exactly do you expect the union to do? You seem to be under the illusion that the union is some kind of godly advocacy body, it is not. The union is, essentially, your mother and her co-workers. They have to be active themselves if they want the benefits. The paid officials will help in any way they can and provide guidance (and if they don't then you should join a different union), but at the end of the day they are not miracle workers, not do they claim to be.
What action did your mother and her co-workers take having had their wages cut in lieu of a promised pay rise? Did they seek to negotiate with the employer? Did they seek 3rd party advocacy? Did they work-to-rule? Did they ballot for strike action?

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