4 December 2008 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe

SIPTU lashes Ryanair airline monopoly bid

SIPTU this week condemned the attempt by Ryanair to acquire control of Aer Lingus and described it as “another attempt at mischief-making”.
Aer Lingus SIPTU Branch Organiser Teresa Hannick said:
“This initiative directly contradicts all their talk over the years about the necessity for competition in Ireland’s airline industry. Now Ryanair has established a dominant position and is moving to do what we always said it would  – create a private sector monopoly so that it can absolutely dictate the agenda to the detriment of both consumers and workers.”
Hannick’s members believe the Ryanair initiative was orchestrated to coincide with the current industrial dispute in Aer Lingus but workers and management at Aer Lingus have formulated a proposal to address the concerns of workers, save the airline and frustrate Ryanair’s ambitions to create a monopoly.


Pension crisis is government’s own making

SINN FÉIN’S spokesperson on workers’ rights, Arthur Morgan TD, said the scale of the crisis from the devaluation of private pension funds is of the Government’s making.
A leaked memo prepared by Social and Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin for the Cabinet this week confirmed that thousands of workers’ pensions are close to collapse amid global financial turmoil.
Arthur Morgan said the Government actively encouraged people to invest in private pension funds without providing anything like the level of oversight and regulation needed in this sector, leaving Irish workers’ savings open to the chaos of global financial markets. He called for a review of private pension funds and intervention.
Despite Minister Mary Hanafin’s claims otherwise, he said, she was aware of the pending pension crisis over a month ago.
Hanafin has told her Cabinet colleagues that many pension schemes will be so depleted in the coming months that they will not be able to pay existing pensioners or newly-retired members.


110 workers laid off after €928 million payments from Irish companies

WORKERS were angered this week after the US-based parent company of Galway refrigerator manufacturer Thermo King announced it is laying off 110 workers after it admitted it had taken €928m in payments from its Irish company over the past two years.
The payments from the Irish company at Mervue Road, Galway, amounted to €50m in 2006, and €878m last year. Pat Keane, a regional secretary for the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union, expressed the feelings of the Thermo King workers.
“This isn’t about losing money, it’s about making more money,” he said.
There has been a total reduction of the workforce by 200 after the laying off of 70 temporary workers and over 100 redundancies which the company said was the result of a downturn in the economy.


Margaret Thatcher dies (on stage)

A CONTROVERSIAL and innovative piece of theatre will be shown in London next April to mark the 25th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike.
The play, Maggie’s End, is sponsored by the National Union of Miners, the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers, UNITE and Britain’s General Union (GMB).
The inspiration for the play was a series of press reports that the British Labour Party has plans to give Margaret Thatcher a state funeral and tells the tale of  “a former militant campaigner’s sense of outrage over the betrayal” and the conflict with his daughter who has become a senior minister in the Labour government.
Trevor Wood, an acclaimed co-writer of the play, said:
“We wanted to explore what the possible repercussions of this could be, particularly in the north of England, where many communities were decimated during the Thatcher years.”
Maggie’s End will be shown in the Shaw Theatre, Euston Road (near Kings Cross railway station), London, from 6-18 April 2009.

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