Unions are vital in a democracy
Published 26/01/2011 | 10:03
After gaining power in 1933, one of Adolf Hitler's first moves was to ban all trade unions. Their offices were closed, their money confiscated and their leaders imprisoned. With all opposition thus silenced, Hitler was free to reduce workers' pay, increase working hours and continue with his development of a totalitarian society.
Indeed, as any student of history will testify, abolishing trade unions and silencing the organised voice of workers is one of the first steps on the road to a dictatorship.
This is why all decent and right-thinking people must react with disgust and contempt to any suggestion that Ireland should embark on a similar course of action and deny our citizens such basic freedoms.