Liberty View: A summer of solidarity dawns…
The cost-of-living crisis and the need for the reform of public services has provoked a growing number of industrial action by SIPTU members in response to intransigent management and employers.
For local authority water workers, ambulance paramedics and firefighters their patience has been pushed past breaking point by a failure of employers to show good faith in collaborating with them to protect working conditions while improving services.
In all three areas, industrial action by our members is scheduled to take place during June.
Elsewhere in the economy, the continuing cost of living crisis coupled with the surge in energy prices and other cost increases for business are in most cases resulting in pay agreements which, although below the rate of food inflation, are acceptable to workers.
However, some employers are failing to even accommodate reasonable claims by SIPTU members and in these sectors the union has made clear it will support industrial action.
The issues facing SIPTU members currently are common to workers across Europe. In the UK they are coupled with a Tory Government which is intent on worsening industrial strive for its own political gain.
However, despite the worsening set of circumstances including a failing economy due to Brexit, which face the trade union movement in Britain it has had several successes due to its ability to mobilise wider public opinion behind its claims.
Creating a base of wider solidarity around workers’ demands by showing how they will also benefit wider society is one that SIPTU members will seek to emulate over the coming months.
This article firstly appeared in Liberty Online