Monday, 21 September 2009

Striking dockers speech in Dublin. Please read.

Speech made by Mr. James Loughman to +3,000 marchers on 19th Sept.

I am one of the Dockers currently on strike at Marine Terminals LTD in Dublin Port.
We have been on strike now for 11 weeks, and there is still no resolution in sight.
We have generally had good relations with our employer, but this changed once the UK Company Peel Ports took over MTL
. They have forced compulsory redundancies on us, and have refused to negotiate with our union.They showed us new contracts and told us we had to sign them or leave. These contracts changed our wages, and our conditions. They even wanted us to agree to go work in British and Scottish Ports if they told us to. Because they wouldn’t negotiate and wanted to bully us we ended up going on strike.
I’m not going to lie and say it has been easy, it hasn’t. It is difficult and it gets more difficult every week.
Since the strike began myself and other workers have had to struggle financially, we have had to worry about our uncertain futures and some of us have been brought to court by the company and have had high court injunctions served on us.
I was never in trouble in my life; I never even saw the inside of a courthouse, much less the high court.
I was content to be doing my weeks work, paying my taxes and getting on with things. But that choice was taken away from me, and the other workers.
We didn’t create this situation we are in. This was forced upon us, we had no choice in this, and while we are suffering nobody is rushing to bail us out.
At the same time, the banks and property developers who are being bailed out are responsible for their own mess and have dragged us all down with them. They have damaged the economy, and the Government is using our tax money to help them and are leaving us to pick up the pieces.
We are going to see cuts in services, essential services such as education and health because the money that should be used to fund these is going to help cover up their mistakes and their greed.
The people who will benefit from this bail out and from NAMA are the same kind of people who have attacked us as workers and have forced us onto strike. MTL is now owned by the Peel Ports. They are part of the massive Peel Group that owns Mersey Port & Docks, Clyde port in Scotland, The Manchester Ship Canal, Liverpool's John Lennon Airport, and airports in Durham, Sheffield and Manchester.
Their main business is property development and land speculation all over Europe. They are the exact same kind of people that have helped destroy this country, the developers and speculators that NAMA is trying to save.
The boss of Peel lives in the Isle of Man tax shelter, and has a personal fortune of £1.3 billion. That’s billions, not millions.
Yet he still wants more, will attack Dublin workers to get it, and like his Irish counterparts would love NAMA to throw a few dollars more his way.
Speaking of a few dollars more - Deutsche Bank owns a 49% stake in Peel Ports. They paid £800 million sterling for this a few years ago. Deutsche Bank has this year received billions of dollars in bailout money. Again, I stress I’m talking about billions, not millions.
So while they have the begging bowl out and getting it nicely filled for them we workers are expected to shoulder all the pain.
Neither Deutsche Bank nor the Peel group are in any financial difficulties. By treating us Dockers the way they are, their fortunes, worth Billions will not change in any significant way. It is not even small change in their world of millions, hundreds of millions and billions. For us, it is our livelihoods, our bread and butter.
The attack on dock workers is driven by greed, and an anti union, anti working class mentality. It is the same greed that has caused the financial crisis and the same anti working class agenda that thinks its ok for us to suffer to clean up their mess.
Well I Just want to say, on behalf of the Dublin Dock workers, it is not ok, it is not good enough. Workers in Coca Cola, in Green Isle, in Mr.Binman are fighting back.
What is happening to us will soon happen to thousands of working class people all over this country, unless we say enough is enough. We see how the rich pull together and unite with their greedy plans. We have seen the bankers; the property speculators and the politicians wreck this country.
Now it’s time for us to unite, for workers and communities to pull together, to say no more , no to bailouts for the rich, no to NAMA and never to forget : get the scabs out, and the Dockers in!

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