Irish trade unionism – the home of the young conservative fogey
Aficionados of Irish trade unionism may well have missed a recent gem by Sean Fryers, member of Unite executive and a youth member of the Irish Congress of Irish Congress of Trade Unions. In the Irish News on 28th May he bemoans the plight of local business facing inflation, increased energy costs, a climate change levy and water charges. His members face all these to a much greater extent than their bosses, but Sean chooses to write about the plight of the capitalists.
He worries about all these “as local companies will be unable to increase the pay of the working class people”.
The solution is for the local capitalist administration to lobby the Brown government to obtain a reduction in energy costs “for local employers”.
This is one of these “Man bites dog” stories, where the trade union representative demonstrates on behalf of the bosses, ignores the needs of the workers and gives a green light for a pay freeze before negotiations even begin.
It provoked no comment, but perhaps that’s hardly surprising in a week where the Trade union leadership are involved in yet another partnership sellout, one group of workers were on hunger strike outside ‘Unite’ offices because of alleged union collusion in their sacking and another group had split completely from Unite, alleging that their officers were in collusion with the employers.
Reading Sean Fryers offering, they may well have a point.