October 1994

1500 job losses at TEAM Aer Lingus

Date:

In recent months, over 1,500 workers at TEAM have been made redundant, a mass laying-off that dwarfs those at Digital and Irish Steel. We find out why...

Unions must come together to fight job losses

Date:

THE ATTACKS on jobs, wages & working conditions at TEAM and Irish Steel are only the beginning. The government wants to slim down a lot of public sector jobs, with a view to privatising the most profitable sections. They also want to defeat traditionally strong groups of workers. Such a defeats will demoralise a lot of people, and thus lower expectations of secure jobs and good wages.

Foundations for Anti-water tax campaign laid in Dublin

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Considerable progress has already been made in laying the foundations for a campaign against the service charges. Throughout all three Dublin County Council areas, residents' associations and local action groups have been taking surveys and petitions, collecting bills for return to the Councils, and organising public meetings and protests. All the indications are that these efforts are meeting with a good deal of success. In the Fingal area, for example, figures are showing 77% non-payment up to mid-July. Results of surveys carried out in a number of areas in South Dublin show similar levels of non-cooperation.

The Reasons to Bin the Water Tax Bill

Date:
  • The average PAYE worker pays £3,565 in income tax each year, compared to £2,642 by the self-employed and just £575 by farmers.
  • Last year PAYE workers paid £3,030 million - up £243.8 million on 1992 - due directly to the one per cent levy imposed by the same government which promised "tax reform".
  • The tax inspectors trade union says that last year £2,500 million was outstanding in taxes, and that with increased staffing much of this could be collected.
  • Instead the government gave the rich their second tax amnesty inside five years. While we have to pay 48% they were let off with 15% and no questions asked. Hundreds of millions of pounds were simply written off, over ten times the total service charges levied throughout the 26 counties.
  • The government refuses to raise the Rate Support Grant by £35 million, which could see all local charges abolished throughout the country. Yet they had no problem finding£35 million for the beef tribunal, much of which ended up in the pockets of their barrister pals.

After Berlusconi's election Women's Rights, Sex and the Pope - interview

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ITALY SEEMS all bad news these days with the new government coalition's that is a mix of the neo-fascist party National Alliance, the separatist Lega Nord and Forza Italia the party of the media tycoon, Berlusconi. What we hear less of in Ireland is the opposition to these forces. A member of the Florence affiliate of the Italian Anarchist Federation tells us of some of the problems facing progressives in Italy.

Racism in granting of Irish Citizenship unless your rich

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Prior to the World Cup, supporters of the Irish football team were supplied with brochures which they were meant to pass on to people when they got to the States. This was a drive by Board Failte (Tourist Board) to encourage more tourism from America.

Hicksons chemical spill Company pleads guilty Profits came first

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HICKSON PHARMACHEM, the company at the centre of last year's explosion and fire in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, pleaded guilty in July to three charges of negligence and improper handling of hazardous chemical substances. The result of this negligence was a major industrial accident in the harbour area of Cork, which very nearly caused a major contamination and deaths.

37% illegally underpaid in Northern Ireland & Britain

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WAGES COUNCILS, which used to set minimum wages in badly paid industries like catering, in Northern Ireland & Britain are no more. As reported in the last edition of Workers Solidarity they were abolished by the Tories on February 7th.

Socialism and Freedom

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WHAT IS IT that most ordinary people want in life? Is it something unreal or utopian? No. The goals which most people have are quite modest. A good standard of living and freedom to live our lives the way we want to. Instead we have to put with unemployment, low pay, insecure employment, drudgery. We are pushed around, bullied or dominated by bosses and faceless bureaucrats. All of this to make a small group of people, the ruling class, wealthy beyond most peoples' wildest dreams.

One in 3 of worlds workers unemployed or in poverty

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NEARLY ONE out of three workers in the world's labour force either has no job or is earning too little to live decently, the International Labour Organisation reports. The United Nations organisation calls the situation "the worst global employment crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s". The ILO said 120 million people are registered as unemployed around the world and millions more are either tired of looking for work or never bothered to register.

Why be a revolutionary

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I may not have any chains around my feet, but still, I am not free. In modern society - capitalism - our bosses and leaders have invented new methods to chain us. According to the propaganda we are supposed to live in a free, democratic society, yet all of us experience limitations in our lives. Everyday more of us are being flung on the dole, families are being thrown out on the streets, our pay packets are shrinking and prices keep going up. Politicians care about little else except their popularity. In truth, we all know that this free, democratic society doesn't exist on the streets where we live.

Anarchism in new Yugoslavia - Letter from Serbia - 1994

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Dear comrades,

We have received your magazine Workers Solidarity so we've decided to write to you and inform you about the growth of anarchism in new Yugoslavia [ed. Serbia, Kosovo etc.].

1969 - British troops arrive in Derry

Date:

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, on Thursday, August the 15th, 1969, 400 soldiers from the Prince of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment took up positions around Derry city. Why they arrived has been the subject of myth making and distortion for the last 25 years. The myth is a simple one, that the function of the British army in the 6 counties is to preserve the peace, to keep apart fanatical Catholics and Protestants who would otherwise tear each others throat out at the first opportunity.

Ulster Workers Council (UWC) strike of May 1974

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The Ulster Workers Council (UWC) strike of May 1974 was just one of the incidents that showed, far from being "impartial", the RUC and the British army did their best to prop up loyalism. This strike was a response to the Sunningdale agreement signed in the Autumn of 1973. This allowed for a "power-sharing" government made up of the Unionists, Alliance and SDLP parties. The agreement also bought into existence, in the spring 1974, the so-called "Council of Ireland". This was somewhat like the existing Anglo-Irish Secretariat, i.e. a talkshop mainly concerned with cross-border security co-operation.

Gerry Adams asks John Major to become a persuader for peace and for justice!

Date:

Anarchists are for the defeat of British imperialism. We would like to see an end to the killings in the 6 counties but we understand that the ultimate cause of the troubles lies at the feet of Britain and the northern sectarian statelet. But we want more, we stand for the creation of a new society in the interests of the working class and against the bosses, both orange and green.

William Burrows talks about the Outdoor Relief strike in Belfast

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THIS YEAR (1994) is the 60th anniversary of the Outdoor Relief strike in Belfast, which saw unemployed Catholics and Protestants fighting alongside each other. In 1982 one of the few survivors from the strike, William Burrows, talked to Outta Control, a local anarchist paper in Belfast. Twelve years later we are pleased to help uncover a small bit of anti-sectarian working class history be reprinting William's recollections. He talked firstly of a march up the Newtownards Road, and secondly described the rally of 40,000 at Queens Square.

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