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Dublin Council of Trade Unions scrap their May Day March

Paul Kinsella (Very disillusioned DCTU Delegate) | 14.04.2004 19:43 | May Day 2004 | Workers' Movements

Repost of my original article on IMC Ireland. Some brief notes re article below. The ATGWU is the Irish Regional Section of the TGWU in Britain. The DCTU are a very similar grouping to say the likes of say the London Trades Council. The IWU are a new Anti-partnership Trade Union in Ireland who had their 1ST Conference a couple of weeks ago.

Dublin Council of Trade Unions by 11-10 (The narrowest of margins) vote down ATGWU Motion calling on the DCTU to have their May Day March as normal on May 1ST this year (2004)
dublin / mayday2004 / news report

Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union (ATGWU) Motion calling on the Dublin Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) to revert to having their annual May Day as normal On May Day, May 1ST this year (2004) was only thrown out by the narrowest of margins (11-10) at the DCTU Monthly General Delegates meeting last night (Tuesday the 13TH, unlucky for some, I.E. The DCTU).

The turnout was much smaller than normal due to the continuing difficulties with the postal service, and there were 2 delegates that I know, who would have voted for the ATGWU Motion had they have known of last night's DCTU meeting in advance, and this would have forced the DCTU into a very embarrassing climbdown.

That's how close we came to overturning the Dublin Council of Trade Union's (DCTU's) original disgraceful decision to cancel their traditional May Day March this year. However it still wasn't enough to defeat the DCTU hierarchy led by Sam Nolan and Arthur Hall (TEEU). Some of the stuff said by some of the DCTU Delegates was absolutely appalling, and they were following the black media propaganda of "thousands of armed anarchists going to reign terror on the law abiding citizens of Dublin on May Day" (I kid you not! This load of bollock was repeated several times by a number of the Delegates last night, and not matter how many times we rebutted their lies, they kept repeating them). Not only that they made several smart-arsed and condescending remarks about anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist activists, and there was a generally dismissive attitude towards the new and growing anti-globalisation/anti-capitalist movements.

Well the DCTU have just dug their own grave, and they've just proved just how out of touch they are. They are to a very large extent a bunch of middle-aged and elderly men (Sam Nolan is 74! And another Delegate last night said that he was 72). There are very few young Delegates (Myself being one of the exceptions), and very few female Delegates (Only 2 out of around 40 DCTU Delegates, if I'm not mistaken are female). Something similar to what happened in Galway a few years back is going to happen here in Dublin. In Galway they had the same problem, an ageing and an increasingly conservative Trades Council, who effectively allowed the traditional May Day protests to fizzle out, but May Day has been revived by the new, young, and growing Anti-capitalist/Anti-globalisation movements in Galway. I hope that you'se have another successful series of May Day events in Galway this year.

Anyway I was talking to a number of the more committed DCTU Delegates after last night's vote and they've told me that there will be at least some Trade Union banners present, on at least the Another Europe Is Possible March, and possibly at some of the other May Day actions as well, and don't forget, we have the new rising Trade Union movement, as represented by the Independent Workers Union (I.W.U.), who I'm fairly confident will be participating in this year's Dublin May Day events. I think that we are going to see more workers, both those already represented by a Trade Union, and those who are not currently represented by a Trade Union joining the I.W.U.

Finally I would like to wish all of the very diverse groups organising the various May Day events all the best, and I intend to participate in as many of them as I can. Don't let this bit of bad (Although not unexpected) news put you down. Don't let the bastards (In ICTU, the DCTU, and Trade Union establishment) put you down! We kind of expect this shite from the media, but when it comes from people who are supposed to be represnting workers and the ordinary folk, it really is stomach-churning.

Paul Kinsella,
Very disgruntled DCTU Delegate.

Paul Kinsella (Very disillusioned DCTU Delegate)
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  1. It will make a change from — A Flyier