On the eve of his imprisonment Declan Mahon, SIPTU shop steward and Finglas resident told a demonstration outside Mountjoy that the trade unions must organise opposition to the bin tax and the jailing of protestors. Declan's imprisonment has been condemned by SIPTU, as was the jailing of Joe Higgins and Clare Daly and the other nine residents. But as Declan stated condemnation is not enough, action is needed.
By Stephen Boyd
This City must be brought to a halt by a work stoppage organised by the trade unions, which demands the immediate release of the bin tax protestors and the ending of non-collection.
A City-wide work stoppage could be the spark for a mass movement that would ultimately lead to the defeat of the bin tax.
There is widespread anger and outrage at the draconian imprisonment of bin tax protestors. This outrage can be utilised by the trade union movement, through a work stoppage to put immense political pressure on this rotten government and the Councils to end non-collection, and stop the jailings.
Mick O'Reilly, Senior Industrial Organiser, ATGWU, and Socialist Party Councillor Ruth Coppinger have called on the Dublin Council of Trade Unions to follow up their demonstration of the 10 October by organising a City wide work stoppage.
David Begg, General Secretary of ICTU, issued a treacherous statement that condemned blockading of bin trucks and accused Joe Higgins and Clare Daly of manipulating working class people and leading them up a blind alley. But Begg's statement is completely out of step with the attitude of the majority of trade unionists. It is also out of step with the position of the majority of trade unions who oppose the bin tax.
Trade unionists opposed to the bin tax and the jailings should immediately organise to get emergency motions from their union branches, and letters sent to their general secretaries and executive committees calling for a work stoppage. Trade unionists in the ATGWU, TEEU and SIPTU are calling for an emergency meeting of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions with the aim of having a work stoppage called in Dublin. The battle against the bin tax is a major test for the leaders of the trade union movement; they have the power to stop the jailings, end non-collection and to force the government to scrap the bin tax.