Sunday 24 September 2017

Lise Hand: Comrade sees red over ICTU's plan to circle the union wagons

Lise Hand

Lise Hand

UH-OH. For three minutes yesterday, ICTU stood for Irate Comrade's Tirade Unleashed. And it had all been going so harmoniously at the trade union conference up to the point when delegate Sinead McKenna popped up onstage and let fly at the top table where sat a line of trade union poobahs such as ICTU's David Begg and Jack O'Connor and SIPTU's Patricia King and Joe O'Flynn.

Dundalk-based Sinead, a member of the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU), began mildly enough by explaining to delegates that she almost hadn't bothered making the trek to the gathering in Killarney as she's still on maternity leave. But then, without warning, she left the room in no doubt as to how she felt about their "better, fairer way" approach to negotiating for the membership.

"I think they should call it what it is -- an even more placid, quieter way. I got excited when I saw an ICTU document, entitled 'A Call to Action', but after reading it I realised it is in short a call to circle the wagons when really we should be coming out shooting at this stage," she declared to the rustle of delegates sitting bolt-upright in shock at the unexpected ambush.

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