Work

Sex Work as Work: Audio of A Conversation with Selma James at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair

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Selma James lead off a discussion on sex work at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair alongside, sex worker Jenny O, and Wendy Lyon who blogs at Feminist Ire

There is then a 30 minute discussion with the audience around anarchism, sex work and feminism.

 

Sex Work as Work: A Conversation with Selma James at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair by Workers Solidarity on Mixcloud

 

So much for Solidarity - ICTU and sex workers

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In 2012 The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) made a submission to the Irish government’s public consultation on the prostitution laws. Most of it was just a cut-and-paste job of text sent to them by the Turn Off The Red Light campaign, which seeks the introduction of the Swedish model. But there is one part of ICTU’s original contribution which I found remarkable. A few paragraphs down the submission cites – clearly for the purpose of endorsing – the view of the Technical, Electrical & Engineering Union‘s General Secretary that “prostitution could not be considered work”.

 

On Ireland being No1 for business. Tech workers, society, night clubs & cycle lanes

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Mainstream media were very excited earlier this week with Forbe's proclaiming the republics "extremely pro-business environment" with of course no critical commentary over what that reality means for the mass of the population who rely on paid labour or social welfare to get by. What lies behind phrases like " low tax burden, investor protection"? Why has there been more investment by US companies since 2008 ( $129.5 billion ) then in the previous 58 years? Should we really be cheering being No1 for attracting corporations?

Selma James interview on welfare, work in the home, abortion & sex work

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Selma James recently came over to Ireland to do a speaking tour in order to launch her most recent book: Sex, Race and Class--the Perspective of Winning: A Selection of Writings 1952–2011.  We took the opportunity of interviewing her, the interview is below, and recorded the talks she gave on  'Defending Caring and Welfare in Careless Times' meeting for the School for Social Justice in UCD and 'How Can Women Defeat Austerity?' at CERSA, NUI Maynooth. 

Selma James founded the Wages for Housework campaign and was the first spokesperson for the English Prostitutes Collective. She has been has involved with anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist campaigns from a very young age. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and as a young women she worked in factories and was a full time housewife and mother. In 1955 she moved to England, where she married writer and historian CLR James. Since 2000 she has been international co-ordinater of the Global Women's Strike.

The Human Cost of Cuts to Public Services - Thoughts of a Public Sector Worker

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The following text was sent to us by a reader who works in a social welfare office. It illustrates just one aspect of the human cost of the Croke Park agreement and of the furhter deterioration that will occur under the "extension", if it is passed. 

Life in a social welfare office can be heartbreaking sometimes. Sitting there, behind the glass, you have a very limited range of available responses available to a broad expanse of problems. As the crisis deepens, people’s problems become more serious and varied and our responses and the time available to respond narrow.  

Solidarity Stroll - Fighting for Domestic Workers' Rights

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On Saturday, the 6th of October, the Solidarity Stroll took place, organised by the Dosmetic Workers Action Group and the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland. They were calling for the Irish Government to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Decent Work for Dosmetic Workers (C189). This convention would give dosmestic workers the same rights as other workers.

Work in capitalism & anarchism - Thinking About Anarchism - I Hate Mondays

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Unemployment is at alarming levels. There are hundreds of thousands of workers who would take any job. At least it is better than being on the dole. But of course that is what unemployment is all about. It is a tool the bosses use to discipline those in work and help them keep wages low. Also, as workers are let go those remaining are expected to take on more work. Few workers are resisting this. Most just want to hang on to what they have.

Northern Ireland workers love to skive

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Workers in the North like to skive off work more than anywhere else in Britain according to a survey from business advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). A whopping 65% of employees admitted to skiving off work for at least a day in the past year, with a third taking between two and five days. This compares with 51% in Scotland and 62% in Wales.  Illness remains the most common excuse to pull a sickie while others display fake symptoms around the office with the hope of getting a day off such as sniffing at work, pretending to lose their voice. We also gladly top the table for inclining to skive if we see our workmates doing the same.

Outrage At Paltry Fine For Death Of Worker

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A Dublin family has expressed its outrage at the imposition of a €100,000 fine on a leading construction company for the death of a worker in 2007. 28-year-old father of two, Eddie Fowler, died on 18th January 2007 following a workplace accident on the site of the Charlestown Shopping Centre in Finglas.  Mr. Fowler was fatally injured when he was struck by a plank which blew off scaffolding in high winds.  An inspector from the Health and Safety Authority, Kay Baxter, told a court hearing that workers should not have been allowed onto that section of the site that day. 

Capitalism and the exploitation of women

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When the Irish constitution was unveiled in 1937 it set out a special place for women within the home. In Ireland as elsewhere ‘women’s life within the home’ has to a large extent been characterized by long hours of thankless drudgery. While the struggles of Irish women for greater liberties during the last century have improved our lives in many ways, the drudgery of housework remains thankless and the workplace has not brought the liberation that certain feminists promised. As anarchists see it, this is because as long as we live in a capitalist society women (or men) can never be meaningfully liberated.

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