Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

Irish Sea border threatens political instability

By Daniel Waldron As part of the Brexit process, the Northern Ireland Protocol – which came into force on 1st January – has put a regulatory border down the Irish Sea, as the North remains aligned to the EU single market for goods. The level of disruption to supply chains has been more dramatic than most predicted. This may partially ...

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North: Unison members’ backlash – how should trade unionists respond?

One hundred and ten British Army medics have been deployed to Northern Ireland hospitals to assist with the Covid crisis, operating as regular NHS staff. In the aftermath of this announcement, many Unison members and branches reacted angrily to a statement issued by the leadership of their union, which they perceived to be in opposition to the use of army ...

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North: The way forward for hospitality workers

By Neil Moore, Regional Hospitality Organiser, Unite (personal capacity) January 2020 was a simpler time. Workers in the hospitality industry were infuriated at being classed as ‘unskilled’ by the Johnson government and deserving of low pay by the bosses. The trade bodies – representing the bosses – were celebrating a ‘bumper year’. Projected spending in restaurants was to reach £269m (a 10% ...

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Allied Bakeries strike: Workers rise to the challenge, bosses fold under pressure

By Neil Moore, Unite Hospitality Organiser (personal capacity) Bosses at Allied Bakeries have been forced to significantly improve their abysmal pay offer after powerful and decisive strike action by workers in Unite and the Bakers’ Union – BFAWU. The militancy and determination of the workforce has won them an above-inflation pay increase as opposed to real-term incomes falling, as would ...

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North- New Decade, Same Approach

by Daniel Waldron Almost exactly three years after its collapse in the wake of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal, the Northern Ireland Assembly reconvened on Saturday 11th January and elected a new Executive. This followed an agreement between the DUP, Sinn Féin and the British and Irish governments, entitled ‘New Decade, New Approach’. Speaking after talks with the party ...

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NI general election: Pacts and polarisation

In Britain, the Brexit crisis will be a key issue in the general election. However, there will also be a clear clash of broader political visions between the right-populism of Boris Johnson and the left, anti-austerity policies of Jeremy Corbyn. Class issues like poverty, housing, workers’ rights and the future of public services can also shape the outcome. Already, funding ...

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August 1969 – When British troops went into Northern Ireland

By Peter Hadden (first published in August 2009) August 1969 was a turning point in the history of Northern Ireland. It was then that the Labour Government of Harold Wilson took the decision to send troops onto the streets, first of Derry, then of Belfast. The measure was presented as temporary – troops were needed, they said, because, with riots ...

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Harland & Wolff: The hidden history of workers’ struggle

The history of Northern Ireland is often present as simply being of two traditions – nationalism and unionism – in conflict with each other. Almost everything is painted as belonging to one or the other, including the shipyard. It is also true that most things do have a history tainted by sectarianism and this is most certainly true of the ...

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North: Civil servants strike back against poverty pay

by William Brooks – NIPSA Civil Service Executive (personal capacity) Following an overwhelming majority decision by ballot of its members, trade union NIPSA has called industrial action by Northern Ireland civil servants in opposition to the disgraceful imposition of another below-inflation 1% pay-‘award’ while consultation was still ongoing, as well as the continued degradation of terms and conditions which NIPSA ...

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