Thursday, 17 September 2009

MTL Dublin update.

On Tuesday, 15th September, The High Court granted another injunction, this time restraining SIPTU and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions from distributing flyers about or publishing the personal details of people who have continued to work during the strike at MTL.
However, Mr Justice Kevin Feeney ruled that workers were entitled to use strong language including the word 'scab' during protests outside the company's gates.
Below is the full text of a statement issued by The Dublin Port Workers Support Group , following the High Court ruling,...
“Today’s court action centred on the tactic of “naming and shaming” of scabs engaged in strike breaking at Marine Terminals LTD, in Dublin Port.”
The Oxford English dictionary defines the word scab as follows:
A person who refuses to strike or who takes the place of a striking worker.
And also as:
A person or thing regarded with contempt.
We say, if the shoe fits wear it. By either definition, those behind the gates at MTL are scabs. They are engaging in strikebreaking, and make no mistake about it, they are regarded with contempt. In doing what they are doing they are undermining these decent workers who were forced into this strike by a ruthless, anti worker, anti union company. They are siding with an employer who is prepared to throw workers on the scrapheap with no consideration or respect. If MTL succeeds with its bully boy approach there are other employers waiting to repeat their tactics, and many more workers will suffer. These scabs are the enemy of every working man and woman in this country.
Regarding the naming of these shameful creatures. The Judge stated that he wished to balance the right of free speech against the right of the scabs to go work for MTL. He has his job to do, and we have ours. For many supporters, particularly in the local Dockland communities it is incomprehensible that we cannot name those that are stealing jobs off these workers, that we cannot name those that are undermining this legitimate strike, and that we cannot name those that are denying future generations the right to work on the Docks, with a guarantee of decent wages and conditions.
We have no doubt that supporters will consider the judges words. Like him, we will seek to find a balance, but any balance must include our right to free speech, our right to engage in effective protest action and our right not to be bullied by business men with fat cheque books. Just because this company has money on its side does not mean it can simply buy the English language, and remove the words it does not like us to use. We will continue to campaign in an effective manner, using the most appropriate tactics available to us. Read into this what you will.
There were also claims by MTL scabs of intimidation. If these individuals are prepared to act as scabs against other workers they will not hesitate to lie. Let us point out some intimidation that is real, and that MTL are responsible for. They have employed a so called security company called Control Risks, operated from the UK. This company was set up by ex-SAS members, and recruits from the military. It is known for its activities in Iraq and other international trouble zones. We do not believe that this company is licensed to operate in Ireland, yet its personnel have been present in the High Court, at a sitting of the LRC and within the MTL premises in Dublin Port. Can anybody give a good reason for the presence of such a group, other than to intimidate strikers and those that stand in solidarity with them?
This strike has been going on for two and a half months, and Control Risks were actually brought on site before it began. It is time that steps were taken to address their presence, and the intimidation that is their purpose. We believe that the Minister for Justice should launch an investigation into this sinister development in industrial relation issues in Ireland. We also believe that the minister for Defence should give the issue some consideration, as it appears that they are basically a private army, under the command of a UK based company.

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