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National Protest 9th December 2005
 
# 76 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:04
 
 

"Why are you all so head strong in favour of the employees when its actually the people who pay your wages and keep you all employed?"

Duuh... cos we're employees and not employers and if our employers tried this kind of stunt with us, we'd be howling for their blood.

Course, i dont expect to sway you... i suppose you're sitting in a shed somewhere, nursing a shotgun while still pining for the presmoking ban days...

fetch
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# 77 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:07
 
 
I do feel that unions still have a place in society however they have grown fat from the success of our economy of late and have begun to act like a petulant child weaving unrealistic demands which were only taken up of late because of how well the economy has been for the last number of years. They need to know that sometimes cuts are needed, the brakes on automatic wage increases be put on and be flexible as an economy, a company or other can go either way-up or down.

Unions have had a bad press recently because of the farce which was the benchmarking process. this has led to the unbelievable anomaly that in the public sector the wages are higher than in the private sector. Benchmarking was supposed to bring in better returns in higher productivity etc and it has barely done that. In that respect unions have been too overbearing and greedy.

Nevertheless a company needs to be flexible and not to boil things down to a question of wages. Although wages make up a hug amount of capital in a company they cannot make the sweeping assumption that wages are the problem (in this case at least). Cuts can be made in different ways. Flexibility is needed.

Taking the example of the airlines in America. Almost all are in Chapter 11 bankrupsy causes and that was also due to the fact that unions refused to make the necessary cuts in wages and numbers in employment. However most of those companies refused to change their business patterns and develop a better structure for the changing times. That a company like Ryanair can do it and make money and pay its employees decently shows this.

But I do feel that irish Ferries are partly responsible for this malaise in the company by previously not restructuring until it was too late and for caving in to unrealistic demands of the workers and unions (if the case of the man working for 20 euro an hour).

Also, bringing up the argument that 3.60 is a good wage in Eastern Europe is too simple an excuse. This is, until the moment at least an IRISH company, registered in IRELAND and therefor we need to take the argument about wages from an irish no Latvian perspective and in that case what they are doing is a lazy mans attempt to get out of the problem at hand.

Irish Ferries have an aging structure which will get into difficulties in the future regardless of re-registering in another company as it could very happen that in that very country it will be registered in will have an economic surge in the future and suddenly necesitate paying wages of similar amounts to that in Ireland. It happened here. We went from a low wage to high wage economy and it could happen to irish Ferries too.

But these are only a few arguments. Im tired and havnt slept in a day.

Chau
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# 78 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:12
 
 
Well at least you can argue a point Fetch without some stupid assumptions and personal remarks which have absolutley nothing at all to do with this thread.
Well done. Thats like the other moron on the Adrian Kenedy phone show the other night - he was asked "Why should people go out and protest on Friday" His response was "Thats the why" and when pushed for a real answer he said "cause we are all irish".
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# 79 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:14
 
 

It's called empathy lightning, and if you don't have it, then i hope you find out the hard way what it feels like...

fetch
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# 80 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:27
 
 
Also, bringing up the argument that 3.60 is a good wage in Eastern Europe is too simple an excuse.

In fact, I thought I read somewhere recently that the recruitment agency in Latvia was actually having trouble in trying to attract people at that wage? One of my Polish colleagues here is furious about the whole thing - she thinks that the attitude of the company (Irish ferries) towards Eastern Europeans i.e. that they'll work for anything, is racist. My own opinion is that people from the new accession states are far from stupid and are very much aware that as soon as they look for any higher rate they'll be replaced by a cheaper option.
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# 81 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:29
 
 
Slightly O/T but does anyone know the story with the buses and trains today?
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# 82 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:29
 
 
I have empathy with the people who are loosing their jobs - who wouldn't. I've been there, I know what its like to loose a job but to have a national protest to show empathy is a bit extreme don't you think?
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# 83 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:31
 
 

Miss no name, buses arent running until 4:30pm this evening (i'll be late to work)

Lightning, rather than laying off their workers, why not lay off Eamonn Rothwell - he's earning €338 per hour and judging by his handling of the affair, he's certainly unskilled labour

fetch
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# 84 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:34
 
 
LOL - I could go for that - €388 an hour - man I feel so undervalued
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# 85 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:39
 
 
That's only his basic. I'm sure he probably has a bonus of up to 30% as well, as is normal for CEOs.

Given the relative size of the company in Irish terms, that remuneration package seems way out of line. The bloke in charge of the ESB is only (!) on about €220k a year.
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# 86 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:46
 
 
People losing their jobs isn't nice - but its reality. I think we have to bite the bullet that the economy is changing, and you can't stop it, no matter what protest there are.

The crucial issue, and is what today should be about, is that our immigrant population are paid fairly, and that means the legal minimum wage and above. If we don't look out for our immigrant population - and low wages will be a huge barrier to integration, then we will have the same problems that France and England have in 20 years time. We need to put in place a new strategy to ensure exploitation of immigrants doesn’t exist.

I am not in favour of what Irish Ferries have done, I think it’s excessive and mean BUT they are just the symptom of the changing world and forces that are outside our control. The quicker we accept that what’s happening with IF will happen and continue to happen, then we will be able to get our act together and enforce anti-exploitation regulations, to ensure that the people that do take these jobs are not feeling disillusioned, left out and on the poverty line and bluntly, a time bomb.

I am not accepting what IF are doing in resigned defeat, but that is the situation. I think if we set a policy in motion now we could be a really good example to the world of a content ethnic mix society. If you trace through most problems immigrants have and why they are marginalised, and then why it flares up in violence that nobody likes to see, and then as a result further marginalisation (like France) it comes down to their employment prospects and their wages. If we tackle that we are half way there.

We thought we had so many problems when we were a poor country, and now that we are 'rich' we have twice as many.
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# 87 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:51
 
 
I completley agree Blk. I think you hit the nail on the old proverbial there and we need to cop on as a nation and stop thinking that we are an island nation.
We are part of one of the largest economies in the world and we need to ensure that we continue to be an example to the rest of the world in terms of integration and acceptance of migrant workers and mixed societies.
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# 88 : Friday 9-12-2005 @ 14:55
 
 
And I’m not even talking about multiculturalism in the sense, lets all hold hands - it stands to the utmost reason, even from the most technical, selfish and cold outlook, if we integrate, pay people fairly, we will avoid serous problems in the future, makes sence.

BTW - I know some of the probs in France were decidedly racial as well, but the principles still apply.
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# 89 : Saturday 10-12-2005 @ 14:22
 
 
about IF
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# 90 : Saturday 10-12-2005 @ 14:30
 
 
The crucial issue, and is what today should be about, is that our immigrant population are paid fairly, and that means the legal minimum wage and above. If we don't look out for our immigrant population - and low wages will be a huge barrier to integration, then we will have the same problems that France and England have in 20 years time. We need to put in place a new strategy to ensure exploitation of immigrants doesn’t exist.

I am not in favour of what Irish Ferries have done, I think it’s excessive and mean BUT they are just the symptom of the changing world and forces that are outside our control. The quicker we accept that what’s happening with IF will happen and continue to happen, then we will be able to get our act together and enforce anti-exploitation regulations, to ensure that the people that do take these jobs are not feeling disillusioned, left out and on the poverty line and bluntly, a time bomb.

I am not accepting what IF are doing in resigned defeat, but that is the situation. I think if we set a policy in motion now we could be a really good example to the world of a content ethnic mix society. If you trace through most problems immigrants have and why they are marginalised, and then why it flares up in violence that nobody likes to see, and then as a result further marginalisation (like France) it comes down to their employment prospects and their wages. If we tackle that we are half way there.

We thought we had so many problems when we were a poor country, and now that we are 'rich' we have twice as many.


BLK you make very good arguments - we should not allow exploitation of workers - especially immigrant - You say our immigrant workers should be paid fairly - that to me was a lot of the reasons behind the march and why I was proud to stand in solidarity with 40000 others yesterday. However I disagree with your idea that we should accept Irish Ferries situations as just reality. The protest was in my opinion blk about a lot of the ideas you put forward

Yesterdays march was about a threshhold of decency. I have heard quite a few horror stories of immigrant workers being exploited - stories of inhumane treatment - like paying a worker 1 euro an hour for an 84 hour week, like not paying workers at all.
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