Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

Europe :: Ireland

spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All International subcategories:

Africa

Americas

Asia Pacific

* Europe

Middle East

South Asia


Ireland


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1080, 31 March 2020: PPE, tests, full pay - for all now

Search site for keywords: Northern Ireland - Ireland - Workers - Manufacturing

Bosses concede to walkouts in Northern Ireland

ABP Meats Lurgan, Northern Ireland

ABP Meats Lurgan, Northern Ireland   (Click to enlarge)

CWI member, Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland virtually every manufacturer continued to operate as normal following the coronavirus lockdown, which led to rising confusion and then mounting anger.

Employers in aerospace manufacture - those producing doors, windows, electronics, concrete pipes, wooden fence poles and luxury carpets - all made the case that they were essential. The entire construction sector claimed its sites were 'essential' as well.

While workers could be stopped and fined for coming within two metres of someone on the street, they were expected to work shoulder to shoulder with colleagues on the factory floor. While people were being told to avoid hand-shaking, to wash their hands, or use hand sanitiser to protect themselves, when it came to ensuring profits continued to roll in for the boss, workers were expected to freely handle the same equipment as hundreds of workplace colleagues.

At some workplaces, workers started to develop symptoms and were forced to self-isolate.

The revulsion of workers at the disparity of the words telling them of the importance of infection control precautions and the reality in the factory grew, as did a clear understanding of its root in the employers' drive for profits. After a day of mounting anger, the largest and most effectively unionised workplace in the private sector, Bombardier, was largely forced into a temporary shutdown, with furloughed workers receiving 80% of their pay.

Employees in unionised meatpacking companies organised walkouts - at first, 80 workers at ABP Meats in Lurgan, and then several hundred at Moy Park in Portadown.

The issue of infection control, and the denial of social distancing and PPE, dominated the media as workers across the entire manufacturing sector started to expose what they were experiencing.

In general, the demand in non-food manufacturing was for a temporary or partial shutdown, with workers furloughed on full or 80% pay. In essential workplaces like retail, the demand was for rigorous social distancing and PPE.

The wave of walkouts continued with about 60 workers at Linden Foods in Dungannon refusing to enter for several hours. Like the other walkouts, this one resulted in a commitment to improvements from bosses.

Growing numbers of non-essential businesses are being forced to shut down by workers 'voting with their feet'.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Europe keywords:

Albania (4)

Austria (28)

Azerbaijan (3)

Balkans (13)

Basque (12)

Belarus (6)

Belgium (49)

Bosnia (8)

Calais (3)

Catalonia (52)

Chechnya (7)

Crimea (1)

Cyprus (10)

Czech (4)

Denmark (5)

Dublin (71)

East Germany (6)

East Germany (6)

Eastern Europe (21)

Europe (286)

European (102)

Eurozone (67)

Finland (2)

France (237)

GDR (3)

Georgia (9)

Germany (141)

Greece (214)

Hungary (14)

Iceland (8)

Ireland (423)

Italy (95)

Kosova (8)

Latvia (2)

Luxembourg (2)

Moldova (1)

Netherlands (14)

Northern Ireland (189)

Norway (7)

Poland (34)

Portugal (41)

Romania (5)

Russia (172)

Scotland (383)

Serbia (9)

Slovakia (4)

South Ossetia (2)

Spain (116)

Spanish revolution (17)

Spanish state (12)

Sweden (38)

Switzerland (5)

Turkey (111)

Ukraine (35)

Yugoslavia (7)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 31 March 2020

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle2 Aug Cumbria Socialist Party: Socialism - from Utopian to Scientific

triangle3 Aug Caerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: The future of work - for who's benefit, workers or bosses?

triangle5 Aug Waltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1143 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


'The Struggle for World Socialism' book launch

More videos ...

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version