Irish short news items


How Much Do You Earn?

THE LATEST figures for how much people earn are for 1993 and were released by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in March. Average male industrial earnings were £306 for 42.8 hours (£7.15 per hour), while women's wages lag behind with £182 for 37.6 hours (£4.84 per hour).


Obituary: Dr. Máire O'Shea

DR.MAIRE O"SHEA, republican and socialist, died on March 6th, aged 75. Despite our political differences, Máire happily worked with anarchists on several campaigns of common interest such as abortion rights and 'Trade Unionists & Unemployed Against the Programme'. Living in England for many years, she was an eminent psychiatrist with the Midlands Health Authority where she was a pioneer of patient-centred psychotherapy instead of ECT and drug treatments. She was also an active member of her trade union, MSF.

A brave woman, she campaigned in Birmingham for the release of the Birmingham Six. In 1985 the English police charged her, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, with conspiracy to cause explosions. Gaining support from her union and from the Irish and left wing communities, the police case collapsed in court and she was acquitted.

Generous to the last, she directed that after a wake in her house that her body be donated to medical research at UCD.


Part time workers in North sacked by Tories

TEMPORARY STAFF working for the Department of Employment throughout the six counties are being thrown out of their jobs. A leaked circular, publicised by Labour MP Richard Burden, tells personnel managers to end workers' contracts just before they qualify for their employment rights.

The document, entitled Dept. of Employment ES Personnel Notice 5/95, states "all new temporary appointments in the Employment Service will be limited to 51 weeks to avoid workers qualifying for full employment rights". The document, which was never intended to be made public, goes on to say "if it is not checked, we might later find that the individual has already worked for up to two years and might now be in the position of having enough service to qualify for a wide range of employment rights".

The Tories obsession with denying people job security means they will sack good, proven staff rather than allow them basic legal rights. Hurrah for free enterprise!

Originally published in Workers Solidarity XX, 1995