Déardaoin, Meán Fómhair 03, 2009

Workers in Struggle

TEEU Says No to Lisbon 2

The electricians’ and engineering union in the Twenty-Six Counties, the TEEU, has called for a no vote in October’s referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Announcing the decision, the union’s general president, Frank Keoghan, said that, if implemented, the Lisbon Treaty would place the interests of the market over the rights of workers.

The news comes after the UNITE trade union announced its decision to oppose the Treaty. Between them, the two unions have a membership of around 100,000 workers.

In a further indicator of where class interests lie on the issue, a number of business groups, including the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association and the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies, today [Thursday] called for a yes vote in October.


Half a Million on the Dole

More than 440,000 people in the Twenty-Six Counties are singing on according to figures released yesterday [Wednesday].

Dublin government statistics revealed that 4,321 new people signed for social welfare payments in August.

The unemployment rate in the Twenty-Six Counties is now at 12.4 per cent, with at least another 50,000 claiming unemployment benefit in the Six Counties.

Responding to government inaction in the face of economic crisis, Irish Congress of Trade Unions assistant general secretary Sally Anne Kinahan said: “To date, their measures have been too little and always too late. Nothing introduced so far even grasps the scale of this problem.”


Some Lives Are Expendable

The number of work-related deaths in the Six Counties increased by nearly a fifth last year according to the Health & Safety Executive [HSE].

The organisation’s annual report also highlights how workers in the Six Counties are statistically more likely to suffer a fatal accident than workers in Britain, despite the two being ‘protected’ by the same legislation.

From April 2008 to the end of March this year, 19 people died in work-related accidents compared to 16 in the previous 12 months. All but three of the deaths occurred in either the agriculture, construction or manufacturing sectors.

The HSE’s five-year trend statistics, comparing the incidences of fatal injuries in the Six Counties with those in Britain, highlight how work conditions in the former are decidedly more dangerous. Workers in the Six Counties are up to twice as likely to suffer an injury at work as those in Britain.

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