The Irish economy - an anarchist analysis


Post tiger

WS66 Capitalism: Boom to bust? Is this as good as it gets? [2001]
We can't say how long it will be before this downturn spreads into the rest of the economy, but we can say that it is only a question of time. Capitalism moves from slump to boom to slump

The Celtic tiger

The Celtic Tiger ... who's doing the roaring [1998]
The closure of Seagate in Clonmel with the loss of 1,600 jobs underlines the knife-edge on which the Celtic Tiger economy is balanced. But, particularly in the greater Dublin area, there is an economic boom and for many - though not all - this boom has brought jobs and hope for the future. Where did this boom come from and how long will it last?

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Campaigning for a minimum wage : Let's show them we are serious [1998]
CHRISTMAS IS well behind us but Scrooge refuses to go away. Bosses in many shops, restaurants, garages are still paying wages as low as £2.50 per hour. Civil Servants in junior clerical posts are still so badly paid that they qualify for the Family Income Supplement.

The Celtic Tiger [1998]
If one was to accept the mainstream view of how our society works then Ireland of the Celtic Tiger would truly be 'as good as it gets', booming economy, falling unemployment, soaring profits.

Scrooge bosses named [1998]

Workers Solidarity reporter Joe King spent a couple of hours each month up to last Christmas tracking down the bosses who pay a pittance. Giving himself a good Leaving Certificate, some shop and restaurant experience and a false name he set about answering advertisements, phoning personnel officers and going to interviews.

It's business as usual for the Robber Bankers [1998]

NIB had been operating a relatively simple but yet ingenious scam. As the computer printed out customers' statements each quarter, an official would examine the interest due on each one and select certain customers for overcharging.

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It's... Carmageddon! [1998]

We get to live with the delays and the brunt of pollution, road accidents and traffic jams. So it is in our interests to press for change. We must press for transport that is people and environment friendly. Background articles:

Dublin Dockland to be developed - Who will benefit? [1998]

The Dublin Docklands, from Ringsend to Sheriff Street, are starting a very major re-development which will take place over the next fifteen years. Already the property developers are in the area buying up the land, a lot of which is owned by state and semi-state companies.

Housing Crisis [1998]

Over 37,000 are on the waiting lists for public houses. Meanwhile landlords charge higher and higher rents for smaller and smaller apartments. Why is this happening and what can be done to stop it?

Corruption ...it's business as usual [1998]

Recent months have seen the banking and financial sectors in Ireland coming under scrutiny as never before

Trains, planes & automobiles [1998]

The Irish rail network is now close to disintegration according to CIE's own chief executive Michael McDonnell.

Our TAX Money - Will we get a receipt? [1999]

What the Flood and McCracken and Moriarty Tribunals have revealed that politicians and business people regularly exchange massive sums of money without the slightest regard to taxation. Over 85% of tax on income is paid by PAYE workers.

Strikes free bricklayers from jail [1999]

On October 21st William Rogers was arrested. Dave McMahon had been arrested at dawn the same morning. Word spread and bricklayers from other sites began walking off the job

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Is This As Good As It Gets? [1999]

Lets not talk about the Celtic Tiger bringing prosperity. Pay levels have stayed the same, tax rates have increased and there has been the massive increase in property prices throughout the country. A third of todays wage earners can no longer afford to buy a home of their own.

Social Welfare Bill 1999: Hassling people into very low paid jobs [1999]

The Scheme Workers Alliance organises people on employment schemes to combat cutbacks and win the extension of part-time workers rights. We speak to the SWA about the upcoming Social Welfare bill.

It's all so inevitable [1999]

The then Prime Ministers of Ireland, Greece, France, Britain, Italy, Spain and Belgium have all been associated with charges of varying degrees of fraud, nepotism and political favouritism.

Irish Workers Worth Double Their Wages Says Employers' Study [1999]

IRISH WORKERS are undervalued by 50% according to an international study published earlier this year.

SIPTU Fight-back and National Partnership

For over a decade the unions have been in a partnership with the bosses and state. This partnership means promising not to strike on a wide range of issues while accepting low pay rises. The problems with partnership are obvious and at least 1/3 of the unionised workforce has voted against previous deals. However partnership has severely eroded 'shopfloor' organisation as little is left to local meetings except individual cases.

Confessions of a store grunt [2000]

There are approximately 236,400 people working in the wholesale and retail trade. Most of us working in this sector are badly paid, as unskilled labour usually is

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The housing crisis [2000]

After six years of massive house price increases it is now almost impossible for the average worker to buy a house in Ireland. Average house prices in Ireland rose from 11.3 times the average income in 1989 to 18.2 times income in 1999. We name the Greedy Bastards

The inflation con - demand pay increases [2000]

This year's pay increase, under the Programme for Prosperity & Fairness, is 5.5%. As we go to press inflation is 6.2%, and rising. When the economy was in recession we were told to tighten our belts so that the economy could recover. Now that it is booming we are being told to accept what is actually a pay cut, in order to keep it booming.

Review:Analysing the Celtic Tiger [2001]

Kieran Allen's study of the Celtic Tiger was published with almost perfect timing as the bosses, the government and the trade union leaders lined up to tell workers that if they did not moderate their pay demands we might kill off the 'Celtic Tiger'.

Sweatshops, unions and Fortress Europe [2001]

The EU is continuing the exploitation of the people of North Africa through creating a special trade zone of some of the North African countries similar to the free trades zones North America has created in Mexico.

Review: The Corrosion of Character [2001]

This is a thoughtful and thought provoking book. It describes a section of society that is affluent and yet hollow and empty. Anyone working in a Celtic Tiger computer company will find much to think about in this book.

If TDs can get a £10,000 pay rise, why can't the rest of us? [2001]

Secondary teachers, rail signal workers and Aer Lingus cabin crew are just some of the workers who have taken on both their own bosses and the government. They aren't buying into the nonsense that we are all equal partners with our bosses and are all getting a fair share of the booming economy. Suddenly there is a chorus of very rich employers and their paid economists telling us that the great Tiger economy won't stretch to a wage rise that you might actually notice in your pay packet.

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WS65 Elderly evicted from nursing homes as rich get tax amnesties and politicians get bribes [2001]

Families of elderly people who can no longer afford to pay for their care in nursing homes are being told to remove them. The average cost of keeping an elderly person in a home has jumped to £400 a week

CPSU rejects PPF revision [2001]

Civil and Public Service Union has voted by three to one to reject the PPF revision to compensate for inflation

Red and Black Ireland

News of Anarchism in Ireland

The Ainriail mailing list carries the latest news from the WSM and the struggles anarchists are involved in. There are never more then 8 posts a week (and normally only 2-4).

More details!

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  pre-tiger

Laughing all the way to the bank [1991]

ALTHOUGH workers have been getting a bad deal out of the PNR and now the PESP in terms of pay the same can hardly be said for Irish bosses. In 1989-90 many executives got increases of 20% according to a recent Irish Management Institute survey.

Vote No to Maastricht [1992]

"Fortress Europe" seeks to unite the European bosses and workers against the peoples of the rest of the world. Integration means a tightening of immigration controls. The Maastricht treaty in particular covers two other things besides monetary union. It is these that determine how we will vote. These are the questions of European defence and the Protocol.

Solutions to the the jobs crisis? [1992]

For the past five years the main plan touted to combat unemployment in the 26 counties has been the PESP (Programme for Economic and Social Progress) It involves the unions restricting pay demands and industrial action. This strategy has not worked. Uunemployment has risen. At the same time Ireland's Gross National Product has broken all records.

How do we fight back? [1991]

Over the Summer unemployment reached an all time high. It would have seemed fair enough to expect some kind of militant response to this by the unemployed organisations in Ireland but in fact very little happened. In this article we look at why these organisations are so unable to mobilize unemployed people, either to demand work or to fight for improved social welfare.

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You need another PESP like a hole in the head [1993]

THE IRISH Congress of Trade Unions is to hold a special delegate conference on September 30th. It will decide whether or not to enter into talks on a further agreement to replace the Programme for Economic and Social Development.

Low wages don't mean more jobs [1993]

According to the European Commission's latest employment report, Ireland has the third lowest manufacturing employment costs for the bosses.

More con trick than Concession [1994]

Top Trade Union leaders like Phil Flynn, Billy Attley and Peter Cassells have been working flat out to get the employers and government to agree another national deal for pay restraint.

Waiting on the housing list [1994]

3,500 households are waiting for housing in Dublin. The average wait for a local authority house in Dublin is now two years and rising.

Significant minority say NO to union leaders [1994]

The PCW is about pay restraint, job losses and promotion of a fictitious 'partnership' between workers, bosses and government.

TEAM workers told not to expect a decent job [1994]

The causes of the job cuts and attacks on workers conditions in TEAM are international. They come about as a result of European integration and the drive for the various European airlines to be merged into a few super airlines.

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No room at the refuge [1995]

An Eastern Health Board report published in December 1994, shows a huge increase in the number of homeless people put up in Bed and Breakfast accommodation by the Health Board.

Competition or con [1995]

Ireland is the 19th most competitive country in the world

Government schemes to hammer unemployed [1995]

Community Employment Schemes (CE) were introduced by the Government last year and have replaced all the other schemes, such as S.E.S.

Handouts or Rights? [1995]

Ireland is one of the thirty richest countries in the world. At the same time, 20% of the population live below the poverty line. There are over 3,700 charities in Ireland. They all do essential and valuable work. But they are only necessary because the state is not providing these services itself.

Some people are doing all right [1995]

IRISH WORKERS enjoy fewer holidays than anyone else in the European Union, work longer hours than workers anywhere else apart from Britain, and suffer the highest rate of long term unemployment in the countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD)

Homeless in Ireland in 1996

How big a problem is hopelessness in Ireland and who is most affected

Northern workers paid less [1996]

Workers in northern Ireland are paid less then workers in Britain or the rest of Ireland.

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BEWARE ...the Butchers 0f Social Welfare [1996]

The welfare state is under attack again in Ireland, we look at the figures and reasons behind this

Winning the Water War

Last year the domestic water charge was abolished. In 'Winning the Water War', Dermot Sreenan, an activist in the Federation of Dublin Anti-Water Charges Campaigns examines the campaign and the demonstration of people power that brought about the downfall of this charge.


Background articles

Why the bosses system can't sort it out [1991]

The ruling class will never invest in lower than average profit making businesses simply because they don't need to. And it is in their interests to keep people unemployed and hungry. The only sizable gains that are made for the workers are when they fight for them and win them against the ruling classes' wishes.

Can we take on the multinationals? [1995]

How do we deal with powerful multinational firms who often have an international income greater than the Irish government? If we end up having to strike they can often pack their bags and move to another country; where they will receive another round of tax breaks, free workforce training and preferential treatment.

Stripping the mystery from the money markets [1995]

Government ministers appear on TV to inform us that interest rates will have to go up or down, or reassure us that, having spent hundreds of millions of pounds, our standing in the ERM is now safe. What are they talking about?

Class [1991]

WHY IS THE concept of class so important to anarchists? Why are we constantly talking about classes and class struggle? Some of our opponents accuse us of living in the past, they claim the working class is dying out.

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