The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Trade Union Bureaucrats Shaft Aldergrove Workers
Sean Smyth • June 16 2003

Once again the self appointed defenders of the working class “trade union bureaucrats” have let their people down. On May 23rd 2002, 22 security workers at Belfast International Airport were sacked by ICTS. The workers in a last desperate attempt to win a living wage and decent working conditions legally withdrew their labour. Although they had the full support of their union, “ATGWU”, at their hour of need they were let down, not by the union but by bureaucrats and careerists who undermined their struggle.

Not only were the workers abandoned by the bureaucrats and careerists, they were delivered to the bosses like lambs to the slaughter, they have had their good names slandered, they were called ''storm troopers”. These storm troopers are Madden, 66 and a diabetic, Chris, 43, and recovering from open heart surgery, and Gordon, a 43 year old disabled person. In an attempt to hide their incompetence, these same bureaucrats and careerists are no better than fascists. These wannabe Dictators/Stalinists even called on the police riot squad to threaten these three workers out of there own building - the first time in trade union history a union called the police against its own members.

On Saturday 24th May 03 the sacked workers held a protest march in Belfast to mark the 1st anniversary of their sacking. They were joined by 80 trade unionists including members of the FBU, UNISON, NIPSA and socialists from the SP and SWP who proudly marched in solidarity with the sacked airport workers. The peaceful and dignified march made its way through the main streets of Belfast to Transport House. Symbolically the sacked workers went in and the meeting was addressed by speakers from three unions and two socialist parties. All have pledged continued support.

The sacked workers voiced disappointment that their General Secretary/Dictator Bill Morris and his three officials directly involved in the case Elsby, Condit and McCusker, failed to attend. Shamefully neither did Peter Bunting or any members of the Northern Ireland Committee "ICTU” or the Belfast Trades Council. This was a deliberate insult to the 22 sacked workers. Four week earlier Morris marched with the Friction Dynamic workers in Wales. By failing to attend the solidarity demo, Bill Morris is no better than a absentee Landlord, who is trying to wash his hands of these workers. At the May Day rally in London Morris promised to meet the workers' representatives. They have telephoned his office five times a day to arrange the meeting with no success.

Bill Morris can hide and refuse to meet them, but when the time for justice comes, and it will in the courts of Belfast, that day you and your collaborators will face the truth.

100 years ago trade unionists such as Larkin and Connolly organised the working class to fight capitalism and bad employers, for workers rights such as sick pay and wages above that of poverty.

Today workers throughout the world are still facing these employers, who are encouraged by the Anti-Trade Union Laws and often supported by the state and military who push the neo-conservative agenda of the new world order's desire to rule the world, Rulers who can find 100s of millions of Dollars to fight illegal wars but not one penny to stop 19,000 children from starving to death every day, who want to privatise our public services in their need for greed.

The workers from Belfast International Airport are calling for an executive enquiry; only an executive enquiry will restore the member’s confidence in the ATGWU.

But the time has come for us as a union and the greater trade union family to stand shoulder to shoulder and unite in struggle against employers like ICTS and the Anti-Trade Union Laws. It is time to reject the self appointed bureaucrats in the ICTU, TUC, and Trade Councils.

Time has come to end the link with New Labour and to end social partnership with Fianna Fail.

There has been much debate lately on whether the British Labour Party should organise and recruit in Northern Ireland; they have also being accused of discrimination against people living in N.I, as you cannot join their party if you live here.

What surprises me is why anyone would want to join a party which has done nothing for the working class - it refuses to abolish Thatcher’s Anti-Trade Union Laws, it attacked and now illegally occupies Iraq, it stopped the right of the citizens of N.I. to elect a democratic government of our choosing.

This summer the Labour Government is hosting a meeting of European Union members. The meeting has been arranged to encourage the European Nations to supply military aid to President Uribe of Colombia, despite the fact that Colombia has one of the worse human rights records in the world. In the last ten years over 4000 trade unionists have been murdered by right wing paramilitaries who operated with impunity. And the fact is Colombia has already received over one billion dollars worth military aid from the USA. They say it is to fight terrorism, but what they are really doing is turning President Uribe into the next dictator and turning Colombia in to the USA’s watch dog in Latin America to protect the interest of both the USA and British multinational corporations who are raping and plundering the natural resources in Colombia.

On May 31st the ATGWU will know the result of the General Secretary electio. That day we take back our union from the incompetent idiots who have collaborated with Tony Blair’s New Labour and Bertie Ahern’s Fianna Fail Government and the Bosses to undermine the working class.

It’s time the bureaucrats and careerists realised that their time is up. The ATGWU is a lay members union. As a lay member I will support my union so long as they represent the interests of the working class. The moment they stop representing the working class I will act against them.

To the true trade unionists who marched in solidarity with the airport workers I salute you. To the rest of you so-called trade unionists and socialists I say SHAME; SHAME ON YOU, you’re a disgrace to the trade union movement and socialism.

Victory to the Airport workers




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



I have spent
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in opposition, and
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Index: Current Articles

16 June 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Building an AntiWarMovement: Moving to Action
Davy Carlin


The Genealogy of Power: On Michel Foucault
Liam O Ruairc


Trade Union Bureaucrats Shaft Aldergrove Workers

Sean Smyth


The Supreme Commander

Anthony McIntyre


12 June 2003


Crippling Critique
Anthony McIntyre


Joy or Death
Aine Fox


Telling it like it is

Anna Livia FM, Transcript


The Conveyer Belt of Informers



World Exclusive!
Jimmy Sands


Connolly and Republican Socialist Organisational Strategy
Liam O Ruairc




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