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The following leaflet was distributed advertising a meeting for trade unionists which took place in Dublin on 7 May 2005.

Trade Union Activist Forum:
A One Day Meeting For Activists Who Want A Return To Real Trade Unionism

Many trade union activists are increasingly frustrated with the way our unions are doing their business. While social partnership helped generate an unprecedented boom the benefits of the boom have not gone to workers. The real issues facing workers are not being addressed:

1. The wage share in national income has declined. As productivity has increased it has generated more profits for employers. Despite our sacrifices we have the worst public services in the western world.

2. Economic policy is now driven by neo-liberalism generating assaults on the conditions of public sector workers with an ever present threat of privatisation.

3. Exploitation of immigrant workers is now being exposed as a key feature of the Irish economy. This is not only bad for immigrant workers but will be used to undercut the wages and conditions of all.

4. The proportion of workers who are unionised is in decline. There is now a vibrant non union sector in the economy with little effort by unions to recruit. We are told by union leaders that the employers are our partners yet cannot deliver on statutory union recognition.

5. Since 1987 each new pay agreement has brought further restrictions on union activity including an increasing trend to binding arbitration. Each agreement means more proposals for “modernisation” in the public sector.

In light of the above it is surprising that there is not more opposition to the policies of the leadership but the reality is that opposition is isolated and sporadic. We believe that it is time for those opposed to the current policies of the union leadership to get organised. On May 7 we are holding a forum to discuss returning the unions to real trade unionism.

If you are interested in joining the debate you are welcome to attend.

Trade Union Activist Forum
ATGWU Hall, Abbey St.  May 7,  10.30am to 4.30pm


• Social Partnership; Who Gains? Eddie Conlon (TUI, personal capacity)
• Privatisation, Owen McCormack (NBRU, personal capacity)
• Fighting for the rights of immigrant workers, Joe Higgins, TD
• Union membership and recruitment, Mick O Reilly, (ATGWU)


Open discussion on building a campaign for fighting trade unions.

For More Information Contact: Jimmy Kelly @ 087 255 3252 or



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