One of the more bizarre sights of the recent 1916 commemorations were the grown adults who dressed up in supposed period battle dress (sneakers were a bit of a giveaway), along with plastic rifles, and who walked around Dublin and other towns pretending they were acting on some delayed orders from Commander-in-Chief, Pearse. Now if they were children we might understand it but as long as these fantasists aren’t hurting anybody, well let them at it…
More looting than lock-out
Now SIPTU wants in on the act. They’re looking for a re-enactment of the infamous 1913 Lock Out. Their officer commanding the Luas workers continues to invoke the term lock-out in reference to Luas owner Transdev writing to the drivers today, simply telling them that continued work disruption could cause cut backs in services. This is more union fantasy. It’s already a national sick joke that the drivers are seeking a mystery pay rise, somewhere south of 54% but well north of 18% - a number that the union is too embarrassed to reveal – a number closer to looting than lock-out.
A frontal assault on ISME members
So while these fantasists are at play, reality bites businesses. Less Luas means less people travelling for either business or pleasure (as some call shopping) into the city centre. That means that those workers in services industries – shops, bars and restaurants – in the city centre are being directly affected by fantastical pay claims. Their customers are the ones who are actually being locked out from public transport. And as usual it’s those without cars or the price of a taxi, are the ones most down with it. This also directly affects ISME members running Dublin city centre businesses and we can assure SIPTU that they’re not getting a 54% pay rise this year.
We’re still out of ammo
There is no question that we are mathematically challenged as a nation, particularly when it comes to matters economic. Besides the usual confusion as to who will be paying for other people’s wage rises, there’s a widely held assumption that after eight years of austerity that there’s a ton more money in the pot. Very simply, there’s not. Maybe, if we’re lucky, the State will finally balance its budget next year. Until then, we continue to borrow.
SIPTU needs to go back to school
Though some revisionist historians might beg to differ, citizens like Pearse and Connolly, who really did go out and fight and die, were doing so for a better life for future generations. A hundred years later, now as masters of our own economic destiny, if we want a better future for our children and their children, we cannot continue to plunder the nation by piling on the borrowings. The maths are very, very simple. We cannot, and should not, pay what we do not have. Nobody in business does so because they know it leads to the road called bust. It’s time for SIPTU to re-visit both their history and maths primers.