News & Analysis

Billionaires profit from a pandemic!

By Haritha Olaganathan US billionaires saw their collective wealth increase by $282 billion in the first twenty-three days of lockdown. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the biggest financial reaper, as shares in the social media company have surged by almost 60% over the past two months. Another profiteer includes CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos, whose wealth has increased by $25 ...

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North: Meat workers take action to defend public health

by Daniel Waldron “If the disease was in the animals, they’d have closed the place. But for workers, the factories can do what they want.” – Worker in an Irish meat factory, speaking to The Guardian Even at the best of times, working in meat processing can be tough. It is physically demanding, repetitive and, for many, unpleasant by nature. ...

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Covid-19 crisis: Defend jobs, livings standards & public health

The scale and rapidity of job losses across the private and semi state sector arising from the necessary restrictions on commercial activity is without precedent, writes Michael O’Brien. Even compared to the Great Recession of a decade ago what took several years to unfold in terms of a steep climb in unemployment levels has been surpassed in a few weeks ...

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Debenhams: workers wage battle to stop asset robbery

By Ruth Coppinger  Since being laid off in April, Debenhams workers have waged a David and Goliath battle to save their jobs or win a  redundancy package befitting their years of service.  Pitted against a big multinational chain, the Irish workers deserve massive credit for remaining a thorn in the side of this  company, who coldly used a pandemic to ...

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Mental health: We can’t tolerate the intolerable

by Eóin Dawson Over the course of the pandemic, there has been speculation about what impact the lockdown and other measures have had on people’s mental health. While some services have seen a reduction in referrals, with life’s ordinary pressures eased for some, certain groups have been left vulnerable by the lockdown.  Emergency services in crisis  Phone counselling service Childline ...

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Cynical job shedding and profiteering but… Instant UpRight workers fightback

By Councillor Kieran Mahon  The callous treatment of workers by Instant UpRight Ltd is a sharp example of the cynicism and opportunism of employers who are taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to maximise profits at the cost of jobs and working conditions. Fellow Solidarity Councillor and Socialist Party member, Sandra Fay, and myself spoke with striking workers about their ...

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Review: Planet of the Humans

By Michael Barker, Socialist Alternative (our sister organisation in England, Wales and Scotland) Planet of the Humans demands our attention and most of all it demands our action. This widely-watched documentary, directed by Jeff Gibbs and produced by Michael Moore, presents a dystopian overview of the destruction that capitalism has wrought on our planet. Importantly the film castigates the ongoing ...

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Meatplants: Criminal neglect of workers health and safety

By Mick Barry TD Covid-19 ripped through meat plants on the island of Ireland in the month of May. By the middle of last week 860 meat workers had tested positive for the virus in the Republic of Ireland alone. Meat factories have proved to be hotspots for the virus across the world but the situation here has been particularly ...

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Covid-19 payment: Varadkar insults social welfare recipients (again)!

By Shane Finnan  Yesterday Taoiseach Leo Varadkar provoked widespread anger amongst workers and young people with his out-of-touch Thatcherite comments on Newstalk radio. He described the emergency Covid-19 payment of €350 payment as “unsustainable” and “unfair”. It didn’t take long for the ‘we’re all in it together’ mask to slip! Varadkar’s idea of “unfairness” stems from the fact that nearly ...

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Covid-19 crisis and the ideology of individualism

By Dan O’Rourke Before the pandemic, it would have been difficult for many to imagine neo-liberal and right-wing governments nationalising failing industries, freezing rents, and the partial (and temporary) lifting of austerity. Before the pandemic, essential workers were “unskilled”. Before the pandemic, we were told by capitalist commentators that it was common sense that people are individualistic and selfish, thus ...

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