Solidarity is Strength, Scabs are Scum;
A Wet Saturday in Dublin

The Aldi strike - 5/July/2000

It rained all day Saturday. It's the middle of the Summer yet it poured and poured all day. I spent five hours walking up and down outside the Aldi Supermarket on Parnell Street Dublin, getting wet. I was there supporting a group of mostly women strikers, who had been sacked for trying to join the union Mandate. Aldi is refusing to meet with the union and refusing to go to the Labour Relations Comission.

The picket started at twelve o'clock, by one a crowd of forty were marching up and down the pavement. We asked people to support the strikers by shopping somewhere else today. Looking in the windows, it was obvious that the picket was having effect. Saturday is a peak shopping day and numbers were obviously down.

It isn't always that political activity has such an immediate effect. Here however you felt that being there was having a concrete effect. And so although the weather was miserable and we were all cold and wet, it didn't matter. Here we were doing something useful. True some people went in and is depressing being witness to peoples selfishness towards others. It was obvious that management had been spreading disinformation and some were only too happy to believe what they had been told. One man shouted at me 'they're getting paid well in there' obviously referring to the Aldi lie that the workers were being paid £7 an hour and oblivious to the fact that the women had actually lost their jobs. On the other hand, some of those who went in asked for leaflets and information on their way out and on finding out the issues involved, said they would support the strike in future.

[Personal reports from Workers Solidarity Movement members of events they took part in or attended, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]

In the late afternoon, the picket was joined with a noisy crowd of marchers who had come from an anti-corruption demonstration which had been held earlier in the day. On of the marchers tore down an Aldi ' business as usual' sign much to the delight of the protesters. He was picked up by the police and taken to a nearby station. At this time I don't know if he was charged or not.

With a crowd of a hundred shouting and chanting outside the shop, it was impossible for anyone to ignore the dispute. 'That's what a picket should look like' shouted one of the demonstrators beside me. 'And that's what demonstrating should feel like' I thought to myself. Activity should be about making a difference and here we were making a difference.

Mandate has collected two thousand signatures from the local community in support of the. If you are able to go down to the picket, please let the strikers know they have your support.

Further information can be found at the Mandate webpage;

Also see Don't be a scab for a bag of sugar

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