Ireland: Irish Ferries – Call for 24 hour national work stoppage

Press statement from Joe Higgins, TD, Socialist Party

  • SIPTU workers in Rosslare show how to defeat Irish Ferries slave
  • labour strategy
  • Call for 24 hour national work stoppage to warn all employers that
  • trade union rates of pay and working conditions must apply to ALL workers
  • irrespective of nationality

The refusal by SIPTU workers in Rosslare to handle the Normandy yesterday

demonstrates clearly the action that needs to be taken to force Irish

Ferries to abandon its slave labour strategy on the Irish Sea. The workers

showed very clearly how the company’s operations can be grounded. Equally

the decision to allow passengers to disembark in Dublin was correct, both

to prevent innocent people suffering and to deny Irish Ferries the ability

to use passengers’ hardship as a propaganda tool. Any difficulties for

passengers were entirely the responsibility of the management of Irish


The President of SIPTU, Mr. Jack O’Connor, called last week for a national

day of protest. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions should make this into a

national one-day work stoppage by the entire trade union movement- while

maintaining essential services.

This would be a clear signal to the employers’ body IBEC that the abuse of

migrant labour to undercut trade union rates of pay and working conditions

for any worker irrespective of national origins will not be tolerated.

(IBEC has publicly supported Irish Ferries).

There is a widespread and deeply felt anger among working people in this

State over what Irish Ferries is doing. A national stoppage would harness

this feeling into a powerful movement to protect all workers from


Joe Higgins TD, Socialist Party

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November 2005