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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2015

Huge support for socialist in Northern Ireland union election

Patrick Mulholland, photo by Socialist Party Northern Ireland

Patrick Mulholland, photo by Socialist Party Northern Ireland   (Click to enlarge)

Kevin Henry, Belfast Socialist Party (CWI Ireland)

The last six weeks have seen one of the most high profile trade union elections in Northern Ireland for decades. The election was for general secretary of public sector union Nipsa, the largest union in Northern Ireland. Socialist Party member Patrick Mulholland stood as the broad left candidate in the election against the candidate of the Nipsa establishment, Alison Millar.

Alison Millar's campaign had the support of the majority officials in Nipsa and the resources that come with it. It did not stop a tirade of vile sectarian abuse being waged at Patrick and his supporters which should be condemned by all in the trade union movement.

The victory of the Millar campaign would also have no doubt been welcomed by the main political parties in Northern Ireland. For example, Jim McVeigh, the leader of Sinn Fein on Belfast City Council, and Nelson McCausland, former Democratic Unionist Party minister at Stormont, both warned of the danger of the left in Nipsa winning the general secretary position. Their parties dominate the ruling Assembly executive, which will decide on making huge cuts that will affect Nipsa members.

Patrick's campaign distributed tens of thousands of leaflets to hundreds of workplaces. It waged a high profile campaign which provoked discussion among people outside of Nipsa, about what type of trade union movement we need. Patrick's campaign focused on the policies and programme necessary to make a difference to Nipsa members.

He committed to only taking a worker's wage if elected and ensuring the trade union movement develops a real strategy to fight cuts. As general secretary he would have implemented decisions of Nipsa conference including advocating a democratic socialist alternative to austerity.

Movement

Patrick had the opportunity to speak at hustings and meetings across the country to put forward ideas that could transform the trade union movement and the fight against austerity.

Patrick gained an impressive 44% of the vote, with 4,958 votes. The Nipsa broad left, many of who are members of the Socialist Party, still has a majority on the general council in Nipsa and will be stronger in every area of the union in the turbulent years to come.

Socialists should now use this strength to build a movement against cuts, oppose attempts to link with sectarian parties and build a left-wing alternative in Northern Ireland.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 11 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bail out the NHS

Socialist policies get results!

Government departments agree to hack budgets

Tories open the door to further rises in tuition fees

Fury as India's leader Modi plans to visit Britain

Buyers queue overnight for 'affordable' London homes

School kids must walk hands behind backs says head

Them & Us

What we saw


Socialist Party feature

Socialism 2015: Socialist ideas back on the agenda


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Kshama Sawant re-elected

UK trade props up Kazakh dictatorship


Workplace news and analysis

Unions should keep independence to lead fight to defend Corbyn

CWU rep sacked

Hull council in aggressive attack on trade unions

Step up the fight for trade union rights

Huge support for socialist in Northern Ireland union election

Workers dig in for fight over job threat

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Can biomass energy be part of a socialist plan of production?

Revolutionary themes in games


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save steel jobs

Jeremy Corbyn visits Leeds Uni

Southampton council: cutters or Corbynistas?

Derby school support staff: fight against pay cuts continues

Fight now on to save disabled respite centre


 

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Related links:

Northern Ireland:

triangleSocialist candidate wins NIPSA general secretary election

triangleNorthern Ireland and Brexit

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - what lies ahead?

triangleTV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing

triangleBritish state absolves itself from killings during 'the Troubles'

Union:

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed

trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

Socialist:

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Material deprivation and the impact on schools

triangleSocialist Party national youth meeting

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Marxist economics

Ireland:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Ireland and the national question

triangleNUJ leadership pushes through subs increase but left lands blows at conference

Election:

triangleSupport Sharon Graham for Unite general secretary

Nipsa:

triangleCovid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

Trade union:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Q&A on trade union issues

Socialist Party:

trianglePublic sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

Belfast:

triangleBelfast Hovis workers' all-out strike

Elections:

triangleBatley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour

Public sector:

triangleInterview with newly elected Unison NEC member

CWI:

triangleGermany: Flood disaster affects hundreds of thousands

Sinn Fein:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: Behind the Sinn Fein surge in Ireland

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