BANKERS BAILED OUT! WORKERS SOLD OUT!
Dublin teachers show the way!
Some teachers in Dublin have shown us exactly what all of us at this demonstration need to do. If you are a member of a trade union get the following motions put to your branch. They were passed at the end of September by the Dublin City post Primary Branch, one of the biggest branches in the country of the Teachers Union of Ireland.
This Branch recognises the importance of mobilising the massive resentment and anger against the Government policy of bailing out bankers and developers while workers pay for a crisis for which they bear no responsibility.
The Branch commits itself to organising and co-ordinating a campaign of opposition to the Governments offensive against the education sector and public sector workers in general. As a first step it will organise a meeting of teachers, 3rd level students and public sector workers in the Dublin region to plan a campaign of action against the cuts. This Branch will hold joint meetings with branches of other unions.
In order to expose the true extent and value of the bad debts we are being asked, through NAMA, to pay for, the branch will formally ask bank workers through their trade union to reveal the true value of the rotten loans we are being asked to pay for. The bailout of the banks is being conducted in secrecy. Revealing the dirty and corrupt relationships between the bankers, developers and politicians would go a long way to exposing the massive fraud that is being perpetrated and for which we will pay for decades to come. Revelation of the real value of these so called assets could play a major role in detonating widespread opposition to NAMA which could sink it almost before it gets started.
Dublin teachers have picketed Anglo-Irish bank and went into the bank to ask its workers to tell us the truth about the real state of the bank and its bad debts. We are supposed to own this bank but we are not allowed to even know its true worth. What other example is there of the owners of a business not being allowed to see its books? This only shows that nationalisation is not by itself a solution that workers can support and that only workers taking control themselves can offer such a solution.
All the banks are utterly dependent on the bank guarantee which in turn is only guaranteed by our taxes. We should lobby all the bank workers and ask them to spill the beans on the lies we are being told by the bankers and Government. Just imagine – thousands of leaked emails and documents would expose the lies of the banks and the government and help us sink this disastrous plan.
This demonstration is only a start. We must build towards strike action on 24 November but we must not allow ourselves to be divided into public versus private sector. This means public sector workers must not just fight about their own pay but also to defend the services that private sector workers also use. We must demonstrate that cuts in public sector wages are simply a way of further driving down private sector wages just as cuts in private sector wages are now being used to justify cuts in the public sector.
Nor must we allow ourselves to be divided by any artificial distinction between front-line and backroom workers as if cuts in the living standards of the latter are more acceptable. A nurse in a hospital will not be able to do her job if the porter doesn’t bring in the patient. Her work will be in vain if the domestic doesn’t clean the ward and she won’t get paid unless the finance staff pay her wages.
We are all for efficiency in the delivery of health and education but there is nothing efficient in workers accepting cuts so that the State can bail out banks that are already dead or fund developments we don’t need.
Resolutions must be passed in all union branches and in community organisations. They can become the basis for organisation inside a union and across unions. Workers should join their local trades councils or create one if it doesn’t exist and demand a campaign against NAMA and the cuts. Trades councils up and down the country should unite and organise independently of ICTU to create a nationwide campaign. This campaign should be democratically organised and not allow itself to be turned on and off by union leaders.
We should organise to make our leaders truly accountable to us or sack them if they use bureaucratic rule books to frustrate us. They must not be allowed to go into talks where we are sold out just like in March. To do all this we need to build a rank and file movement of workers inside and outside of the unions. We have new tools to do this such as the internet. If you want to publicise your actions or seek advice on how to start a campaign you can contact us at: