Thursday, November 26, 2009

Strike Aftermath

Tuesday was the first national public sector strike day. I picketed from 8am until 11am outside the building site at the back of campus thereby avoiding most of the hassle of interacting with people I know who wanted to cross the picket. Luckily it stayed dry for my stint and it was all fairly good natured. The guys on the building site, while working, were positive and joking with the strikers. Only one passer-by made negative comments, most were just getting on with their lives.

Once my slot was finished I wandered up town to meet some others who had been picketing at the City Council offices and we proceeded to support the private sector by propping up the bar in the Foggy Dew from midday until the Champions League started on the TV. Apart from not being paid, all in all it was quite a pleasant day. However, the sight of massive traffic jams heading into Newry didn't really help the cause and the letters in the Irish Times over the last few days have borne that out.

There is meant to be another strike on Thursday of next week in advance of the budget. It will be interesting to see if it actually happens and also to see if as many people join the picket line this time. It will also be interesting to see if our local union branch could be slightly more organised with rotas and covering the important places rather than locked gates.

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