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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 June 2003

Northern Ireland: Socialist To Lead Biggest Union

SOCIALIST PARTY (CWI in Ireland) member Carmel Gates has been elected President of NIPSA, Northern Ireland's largest trade union.

The election at the recent union conference gave Carmel victory with almost 17,000 votes against 11,500 for the right wing candidate. Her vote is one of the largest ever achieved by a candidate for this post.

Another Socialist Party member, Padraig Mulholland, came within a few hundred votes of winning the vice-presidency, standing against a former President and the strongest candidate the right wing could put up.

The conference marked a significant shift to the left. It endorsed the outgoing left executive's decision to donate 40,000 to the firefighters' union FBU, involved in months of sporadic strike action. Only one lone voice was raised against the donation from the floor. Another motion passed backed airport security workers sacked a year ago for striking against poverty wages - a donation to their hardship fund was promised.

The right wing were defeated on a motion trying to reverse the outgoing left executive's decision to cut the amount of travel expenses paid for union executive meetings. The same people who wanted to increase the amount of money paid to themselves in expenses had voted against paying strike pay to social workers currently taking industrial action across Northern Ireland.

On international issues, a motion on the Middle East, which called for a socialist federation of the region, was passed unanimously. This from a union that purports to he non-political!

Unfortunately elections to the general council (Executive) held this January had given the right wing a majority. Now we must use Carmel's position as President and the five other Socialist Party members on the general council to rebuild the left in the union so that it can win a majority in next year's election.

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In The Socialist 7 June 2003:

Exposed - Blair's Weapons Of Mass Deception

Firefighters' Battle For A Living Wage And To Save The Fire Service

Government buries fire safety report

Left moves by lecturers' union

No To Poverty Pay In The NHS

Lincolnshire health workers' pay battle

France: Millions On Strike

France: Millions Strike Against The Raffarin Government

Peru: Two Million workers and peasants strike against Toledo

G8 at Evian: Multinationals 'United' In Exploitation?

Northern Ireland: Socialist To Lead Biggest Union

How Imperialism Impoverishes Africa

'Awkward Squad' Gains Another Member

Bosses To Blame For Sackings

"Who Can Blame Them?"


 

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