New Events

National

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Catholic Church: Dark influence still active

offsite link Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy Anthony

offsite link Presumption of innocence does not universally apply in Ireland Anthony

offsite link The poor standard of Irish political journalism Anthony

offsite link RTE bias: A failure of objective journalism Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link China Daily investigation: Who is behind Hong Kong protests? Sat Aug 17, 2019 17:47 | The Saker
The China Daily reports: By Wei Xinyan and Zhong Weiping It’s not hard to imagine the United States’ reaction if Chinese diplomats met leaders of Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives

offsite link South Africa ? Pretend Marxist Neo-Chiefs Practice Destructive Capitalism Sat Aug 17, 2019 16:46 | amarynth
A South African writer for The Saker Blog Let?s set the social scene with a video from Vesti News: People are getting accustomed to living this way. The Neo-Chiefs in

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2019/08/17 ? Open Thread Sat Aug 17, 2019 01:30 | Herb Swanson
2019/08/17 00:30:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Excuses From NATO! Command Claims They Had No Idea Shoygu Was Flying From Kaliningrad! Fri Aug 16, 2019 19:04 | The Saker

offsite link Shoigu?s Ships Will Be Sent to Venezuela! Moscow Signs Warship Treaty With Caracas! Fri Aug 16, 2019 19:03 | The Saker

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link Saudi Human Rights Violation Fri Aug 09, 2019 20:41 | Human Rights

offsite link China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights

offsite link Declaration of Human Rights at Sea Mon Apr 08, 2019 07:31 | Human Rights

offsite link NZ Watchdog On Limits Of Free Speech Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:44 | Human Rights

offsite link US Abortion Restrictions Violating The Human Rights Of Women Thu Mar 14, 2019 15:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link 1989 revisited: 18 August ? Jaruzelski agrees to Solidarity government 12:59 Sun Aug 18, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Arranmore drones 12:49 Sun Aug 18, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Troubles ?tourism?? 11:46 Sun Aug 18, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Sunday and the Week?s Media Stupid Statements 08:37 Sun Aug 18, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Moon Landing Redux 12:45 Sat Aug 17, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

“Our Union, Our Choice”- Interview with Tony Gregg, NASRA Branch Secretary

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Thursday June 06, 2019 22:30author by sp - Socialist Party Report this post to the editors

This short interview from the Socialist Party of the National Ambulance Service Representative Assocation branch secretary is about the background to the ambulance strike and what the issues are about and gives the Union a chance to present their case.
ambulancedrivers620x330.jpg

Thanks for talking to The Socialist, Tony. On the 31 May we saw the seventh day of strike action of ambulance workers organised by NASRA. What is the dispute about and what is its significance?

The dispute is essentially about workers’ right to choose the union that represents them rather than the bosses or employers choosing their representation for them. Up to now, the ambulance service, HSE and the government have chosen the unions who they think will best represent us. Obviously, people have a right to join those unions, but equally we have a right to join our union. Employer and government have stonewalled us. Essentially they have used a union-busting tactic, by refusing to continue to deduct our union dues at source as they have done over the last nine years.

This happened when it became clear that we were the majority union in terms of membership in the ambulance service. We actually feel a specific responsibility towards a new generation of workers, who are now starting to join the trade union movement. We need to protect their democratic rights and we are particularly motivated to make sure they aren’t sold out.

The government has tried to dismiss this dispute as an inter-union dispute, but you have repeatedly explained this is a misrepresentation of the facts. What is really going on?

The PNA have been representing workers in the health service for the past 49 years. NASRA is a branch of the PNA. The PNA is recognised within the HSE, there is no reason why they couldn’t represent us. These days, many unions are run from the top down. One of the things we like about the PNA is that is it members’ driven, it is run from the bottom up.

You have emphasised the message again and again that this is a seminal dispute for all trade unionists. What concrete support are you asking your trade union comrades to extend?

We are not writing to the unions, we are asking workers to raise from the shop floor up through the structures of their unions the need to support our struggle. This dispute has garnered support internationally, as far as Boston and New York. Now workers in trade unions here need to demand of their union leaders solidarity and practical support. Stand in protest with us, join our picket lines and swell them. Send a clear message to other unions and the employers that the unions belong to the workers and that their strength lies in their membership. Trade unions are nothing without the workers, and we want to demonstrate that to those in power.

Solidarity TDs and Socialist Party members have raised this issue repeatedly in the Dáil, and ambulance workers have been no stranger to the Dáil gallery to put pressure on the political establishment. What are your plans to ratchet up the pressure on the HSE and the government in the next few weeks?

We have extended our industrial action from 10-hour strikes to 24-hour strikes and are not afraid to intensify our strike action further if needed, to rolling 24-hour strikes. This puts real pressure onto the employer. As well as further strike action in the next few weeks, we are planning another protest outside Dáil Eireann to put pressure on government to tell the HSE to engage with us. TDs from across the political spectrum have not dared to speak out against our claim, as we are standing up for our basic democratic right to choose our representation, a right that has widespread public support. Now we need the HSE to be instructed to recognize the PNA as the union of our choice.

Join the NASRA lobby outside the Dáil, Kildare Street on 3 July, 12.30pm

Related Link: http://socialistparty.ie/2019/06/our-union-our-choice-interview-with-tony-gregg-nasra-branch-secretary/
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy