The Waterford factory occupation
Not so well known in this country as the Lindsey walk-outs or the French General Strike is an industrial occupation which (at the time of writing) has been going on for 4 weeks in Kilbarry, Ireland, at the Waterford Wedgewood crystal factory. The occupation by up to 60 workers at any one time operating in shift patterns is to try to stop the closure of this famous factory which will entail a massive social cost of around 700 jobs. The workers are holding out for another owner or nationalisation and are in buoyant mood with the full support of their community and tourists.
The occupation was sparked by an attempted lock-out of the workforce following a demonstration outside the Dublin offices of the official receiver, Deloitte and Touche. The following day saw a demonstration of 6,000 in Waterford as the local community pressed gifts of beds and bedding, food, TVs, etc. on the occupiers. The world-wide militancy of workers fighting back against threats to their pay, jobs, homes and health is alive and well in Ireland, with Dublin seeing strikes and demonstrations by bus drivers and taxi drivers on the same day. Around 25,000 students marched through Dublin the following day in protest at education fees, and health workers from top to bottom, along with teachers, are all looking at taking action to protect wages, jobs and services.
As cuts and closures begin to bite around the world, workers are spontaneously fighting back, realising that resistance is now the only option. This is a time when workers are beginning to ignore the honeyed siren songs of Social-Democracy and there is no better time to step up our campaign of unmasking Social-Democracy as the pro-imperialist traitor in our ranks that it is.