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Polish Pickets Put Persuasive Pitch: Press Play

category limerick | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Thursday December 11, 2008 08:37author by seedot Report this post to the editors

Video interview with Curran strikers

“Anyone passing Roxboro in the last 8 weeks will have seen the workers from Curran Aluiminium standing outside on the Picket Line in the worst of weather conditions. “

So starts the blog entry on Cheebah which is entitled “Striking a Blow”. It links to the same video that is embedded here on indymedia which has started to meander through the Irish blogosphere. Running at 4'45'' the Polish language piece with English subtitles has the story told by Grzegorz Romanski, Robert Grabowski, Marek Witomski and Robert Sawlewicz – some of the workers standing on that picket line.

While the Irish Times tells us 33% of Poles may return home - or at least gives recruitment firm CPL an advertorial to say so - we see that Grzegorz anyway intends to stay, as he is "fascinated by this country".The roll call at the end of this well constructed and informative video are our workmates and neighbours, members of our class who are currently being scapegoated and attacked. When Robert Sawlewicz ends the video by bluntly reminding us he is on the dole, he and his comrades are joined by more than 277,000 others. The SIPTU members in Curran Aluminium are standing on a picket line in Dublin fighting for the right to good jobs in Ireland, the right to be represented by their union, the right to decent, legally compliant terms and conditions. We should remember - the video may be in Polish but this struggle is all of ours.

Apparently the workers are back in the Labour Court on Friday - but the company has already ignored one labour court hearing that went against them so this dispute is likely to have a bit yet to run. While Country Tom and the Construction Industry Federation are happy to rip up social partnership agreements nationally - Curran Aluminium won't even accept the right of their workers to be repesented. And their own representatives in IBEC are happy to fight on their behalf to help them deny these workers the right to representation. Remember, in the current economic climate the only partnerships that matter will be those between workers of all types as they form strong unions.

Watch the video for details


Caption: Embedded video Vimeo

author by Montevideo - Union Activistpublication date Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Curran Aluminium should be ashamed, ignoring a Labour Court recommendation, paying construction workers far below the minimum legal construction workers rate and denying workers access to the mandatory pension scheme. You and your lapdogs IBEC gave your ‘balanced’ view to the LC- it was found wanting. You doubted the resolve of the Polish workers, hoping they’d run home.

author by Mark Cpublication date Thu Dec 11, 2008 13:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Around 20 people have protested outside IBEC's offices in Dublin in support of workers at Limerick company Curran Aluminium.

The protestors say the company has failed to fully implement a Labour Court recommendation on pay, conditions and union recognition.

SIPTU said 14 of its members have been on strike since 28 October seeking improved terms and conditions and union recognition.

Full report at link

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1121/curranaluminium.html
author by Michael Hoganpublication date Fri Dec 12, 2008 06:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is to Ireland's shame that the migrant workers have been badly paid and mistreated by Irish employers and landlords.

Low wages, high rents plus abusive behaviour by many of the population.

In this we have proved ourselves to be no better than our former overlords the English.

Was it for this that the folk of 1916 fought for Freedom, for their inheritors to emulate a foreign power ?

author by redjadepublication date Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excellent video. Important topic. and an important topic well beyond the borders of Ireland.

'My dear friend, this is a lecture on Internationalism. Didn’t you notice it before?'

Two technical questions....
a) can you post a transcript of this?
b) do Vimeo files operate the same or similar way as .srt files with VLC? Meaning: if other translations of the subtitles were possible - can they be added to this online video?

I'd like to embed this video on some Hungarian websites, as it is would be ok, but in Hungarian would be even better.

It is amazing that it is more than 4 years since 2004 and EU migrant rights are still in question in Ireland!

blogishness here: http://LMV.hu/redjade

author by christain - non union workers rightspublication date Sun Dec 14, 2008 13:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the labour court has always been controled by the trade union faternity why should 23 out of the 27 workers be forced to join siptu thought we were living in the free state

author by redjadepublication date Wed Dec 17, 2008 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I embeded this video on my Hungarian blog at http://lmv.hu/node/3365

It nicely adds some greater and wider EU context to a current strike at the Budapest Airport.

I hope people post more video like this on Indy in the future.

blogishness here: http://LMV.hu/redjade

author by Hugh Murphy - Sacked by ITGWU and Belfast employerspublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 09:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The only partnerships that matter will be those between strong unions". I couldn't agree more with this statement from the lead article. I condemn wholeheartedly the treatment meted out to these workers. The ignoring of a Labor Court ruling by the Currens and their backing by IBEC shows that Partnership agreements aren't worth the paper they're written on. Why does SIPTU not say to Currans and IBEC - if you want to Tear up Partnership - so be it. Unfortunately men of this calibre don't exist in SIPTU. SIPTU and ICTU would rather, traitorously sit on the Boards of companies and be made fools of.

David Beggs protestations, that the board of Aer Lingus, which he sits on as a Traitorous Trade Unionist, did not TELL him of the secret deal to award Mannion millions of euros, are pathetic. Is this what the leadership of trade unionism in Ireland has been reduced to...?
A PLAYTHING OF IBEC? Everyone in Ireland can see that the answer to this question is YES!

The Curren workers have right on their side and deserve the full support of their union. A PICKET ON LIBERTY HALL BY THE STRIKERS WOULD BE MORE EFFECTIVE in achieving their rights, AND would force SIPTU to take sympathetic action. Action that would bring back some respectability to the Trade Union Movement. SIPTU has become a Lap Dog for the employers - and in turn it expects its members to be also Lap Dogs.

WHERE IS THE PARTNERSHIP - when the employers backed by IBEC can do what they want on workers, with impunity...?

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