News & Analysis

Stop subsidising the rich – tax them!

By Ann-Katrin Orr

THE GOVERNMENT have come up with yet another outrageous claim; this time we are expected to believe that the rich pay their fair share of taxes!

Brian Lenihan is trying to paint the image of a “highly progressive” Irish taxation system in which those who earn most pay most. To back up his claim he said that the top 1% of earners (who earn more than €200,000) pay 20% of all income tax. But this figure is misleading and Lenihan’s description of the taxation system is miles removed from reality.

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ICTU’s 10 Point Plan: Is it fairer or better?

By Kevin McLoughlin

ICTU’s PLAN was to threaten a national strike on 30 March in the hope of forcing new negotiations around their 10 point so-called social solidarity programme There is a better, fairer way.

ICTU’s social solidarity programme relates to jobs, unemployment, pay and the banks. It says those who lose their jobs should be kept at 80% of their earnings for two years, via social welfare, on condition that they go on retraining. It also says bosses should resist lay-offs, and instead consider cutting the working week.

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Unemployment Crisis – Organise to Defend Jobs

By Ray McLoughlin

BAUSCH AND Lomb – 200, KPMG – 200, lay offs in the first week of March continue the disastrous pattern of job losses in Ireland. Over 300 people were made redundant each working day in February in the South, 63,198 signed on the dole in the first two months of 2009! Unemployment is skyrocketing towards 500,000.

Redundancies are happening in all sectors, light engineering, construction, financial services. Further job losses are being proposed in transport, education and across the public services. Workers are looking into a black abyss of job losses, with all the consequent hardships and uncertainties facing them and their families? What leadership are the trade union leaders giving to the victims of this failure of capitalism?

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We need a one-day national strike

By Stephen Boyd

DEFEND OUR JOBS, PAY & CONDITIONS

THE DESPAIR, anger and fear felt by many at the economic catastrophe which is unfolding at an unprecedented speed is reflected in the 120,000 who marched on 21 February, the huge percentages voting in favour of strike action in union after union and the collapse in support for the government.

Working class people are looking for a way out of the crisis. However, they have no faith in the government’s ability to deliver a recovery.

Brian Cowen falsely claims the government has no choice – it must cut public expenditure otherwise the budget deficit will spiral out of control and the national debt will be a major burden for years to come.

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United action can stop the cuts at Dublin Bus

By Matt Waine

A PLANNED strike by Dublin Bus drivers and staff was postponed after an eleventh-hour intervention by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC). The strike threat came after the company announced its intention to sack 290 staff, including 160 drivers as part of a “cost cutting” plan.

As we go to press, talks are still continuing at the LRC. However, it now appears that the company is using the threat of redundancies and cuts to the service as a cover for their real agenda - to force through major changes to work practices. A key component of this would be the introduction of part-time work and talks are presently deadlocked on this issue. 

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Waterford Crystal Interview – Reject the KPS deal

  • Fight for Nationalisation of Waterford Crystal now!

 

THE DECISION by the Waterford Crystal Deloitte and Touche Receiver to sell part of the company and the rights to the Waterford Crystal brand has left the workers high and dry. The Socialist spoke to Donie Fell, a Waterford Crystal worker, about what this means for the workers, their families and the wider community.

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No Compromises – SCRAP the pension levy

By Denis Keane, CPSU Executive member (personal capacity)

FOLLOWING ON from our demonstration of 4,000 people outside Dail Eireann on the 18 February, CPSU members took part in a one-day strike on 26 February. This protest and one day strike were in reaction to the pay cuts (pension levy) being imposed by the government.

The strike had the overwhelming support of other public servants. Even though they were threatened with disciplinary action, many public servants refused to pass the picket and in some cases joined our picket lines with their home made placards. On the day there was almost universal agreement amongst all grades that our unions needed to take co-ordinated and united action against the pension levy.

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NI: Unions must fight every job loss & wage cut

By Gary Mulcahy

THE JOBS massacre spreading across Northern Ireland and Britain is devastating entire towns and communities. Unemployment in the North has surged by 62% in the past year. At least 1,000 jobs are expected to be lost every month this year, which would bring the number of officially unemployed above 52,000.

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Workers unite to defend jobs and wages

  • No to social partnership
  • For democratic fighting unions

 

ONE HUNDRED and twenty thousand marched through Dublin in the biggest workers demonstration in 30 years. Following on from the success of the 21 February demonstration the ICTUs’ executive committee called for all of its affiliates to ballot their members in the South for a one-day national strike on 30 March. Here STEPHEN BOYD looks at the situation.

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