Protocol Proposals

Any progress on replacing the existing EU Protocol is to be welcomed but time is now needed to assess today’s announcement and to prepare considered and constructive responses.

The DUP, in particular, should examine the new proposals in the round and give serious consideration to the future of devolved government here and the potential consequences if it is not restored..

Paramilitary threats of disruption and violence are totally unacceptable and make no constructive contribution to the debate. No one has the right nor the mandate to hold this society to ransom.

The handling of the EU withdrawal agreement has be used as the proverbial political football by the European Union , the British Government, the Tory party’s European Research Group (ERG), elements of British and Irish nationalism here and by the Irish Government who could, and should, have played a much more constructive, supportive and mature role.

This afternoon’s announcement deserves serious and calm and consideration. The objective of all parties should be to secure the return of the Northern Ireland Assembly, stabilise relationships between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain and facilitate a renewed and reformed devolved administration at Stormont.

A 4 Day Working Week

Working conditions, work life balance and workers’ rights have always been the history of hard-won struggles by organised labour and the trade union movement, to improve, modernise and secure social progress.

Today, the case for a 4 Day Working Week has also become a site of struggle between workers and companies, multi-national corporations and individual employers.

Things we take for granted today, like a two-day weekend, a 35-hour week and holiday entitlements were the end product of struggles, demands and campaigns. They were won – not presented.

Fourth Industrial revolution

We are now in the midst of what could be described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Roughly one hundred years apart, the use of steam power and mechanical production in the 18th century gave way to electrification and mass production in the 19th century and then, in the 20th century to electronics, IT and automation. All of them brought the promise of potential and new opportunities for working people.

As we now engage with the era of digital information and artificial intelligence, this fourth industrial revolution also holds out the prospects of beneficial changes for working people: but as in previous eras they will be contested and need to be fought for.

Benefits for working people

A four-day week, not condensed hours or any similar number juggling, at current weekly or monthly wage levels is a demand whose time has come. The benefits and opportunities afforded by new technologies, algorithms, cyber space, virtual reality and the uses of artificial intelligence must be reaped by working people and their families, not just by companies and corporations.

As with those who came before us, we need to prepare ourselves for the arguments, the naysayers and the struggle to come. Workers rights are won, they are not bestowed.

Omagh Shooting

The attempted murder of PSNI officer Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was a brutal and barbaric deed carried out by people who have absolutely no contribution to make to this, or any other, society.

It is a senseless act of terror and must be met with the complete and unambiguous revulsion of the community. Many of those who still seek to justify and glorify the slaughter and savagery of the Troubles era would do well to reflect on last night’s shooting and its implications.

Anyone with any information about this callous attempt of DCI Caldwell’s  life should contact the PSNI without delay.


Keeping Up the Pressure

The Trade Union organised rallies, in support of striking teachers, lecturers, ambulance and healthcare staff, have helped maintain the momentum in the campaign for fair wages, improved conditions, safe staffing levels and better services. Workers Party members took to the streets in a colourful and high visibility show of support.

While thousands of workers staged a convincing show of solidarity across Northern Ireland, sections of the media and other detractors sought to personalise the issues by focussing on individual pay grades, hyping up the parental and public inconveniences involved and questioning the effectiveness of industrial action.

Yesterdays rallies, and the industrial action of the past eighteen months have been about much more that specific demands. They have been about defending and securing quality public services in the face of a relentless campaign of budget cuts, austerity and the seemingly indifference of major political parties, all of whom have been conspicuous by their absence on picket lines and trade union rallies.

Public services, and wage levels that reflect the skills and dedication of those who provide them, are central to the security and quality of life of all our citizens. Until we have secured a socialist society, the daily battle to defend and develop them continues.


A Significant Day

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday 21 February, teachers, university lecturers, front line ambulance crews and their support staff as well as other healthcare workers in hospitals and the community will take industrial action in support of wages, conditions and the future and the quality of services.

This marks a major escalation in the campaign of industrial action which has been ongoing for the past eighteen months

It also sees one of the first formal joined up protests by trade unions from different sectors. Tomorrow will be a significant day.

Teachers would rather be with their pupils, lecturers with their students and healthcare workers with their patients and clients. They have no option but to take this action in defence of services, safe staffing levels and a wage which reflects the skilled and important work that they do.

Tomorrow is not only about recognising and supporting the work of teachers, lecturers and healthcare workers and the contribution that they make to our society. It is about the very future of our education system and of our health services.

Underinvestment, unsafe staffing levels, failure to pay a fair wage and creeping privatisation in both health and education is already leading to people turning their backs on those career options. Day by day, we get closer to two tier services. Those who can afford it can get the best. The rest of us, our children and our families get cut adrift.

Tomorrow is about pay and conditions. It is about recognising the value of those who provide key and essential services on our behalf. But most of all tomorrow is about tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that.


The Far Right, Immigration and Capitalism’s Crises

Across Europe right wing populist parties and openly fascist organisations, deploying extreme nationalist rhetoric, are on the rise.

This is no coincidence. It reflects the social discontent generated by the capitalist crisis. Cuts in public expenditure, a gross lack of public housing and the exploitation of workers through precarious employment, low pay and rising prices, provides the far-right merchants of hate with the opportunity to indulge in simplistic solutions which falsely point the finger of blame at immigrants, asylum seekers and ethnic minorities.

Some in disadvantaged and disenfranchised working-class communities are prey to the callous and misguided right which refuses to recognise that the problems faced by working people are caused by the social system, not by fellow workers from elsewhere. 

This crisis has been caused by capitalism, it has been aggravated by imperialist aggression, poverty and war which forces people to flee their homes. 

We have witnessed before the horrors of fascism. Fascism is a particular manifestation of monopoly capitalism under certain conditions.  It must be opposed at every opportunity.

Ted Tynan

Workers Party


Time to Reclaim Our Resources – Crossan

As the dependency on foodbanks, even for people with jobs, continues to rise, as child poverty rates exceed 25% and three people die on the streets of Belfast, homeless without hope, heat or shelter, the Shell oil and gas company recorded annual profits of £32 billion – the highest in its 115-year history”, Patrick Crossan of the Workers Party has said.

“Shell will not be paying any tax in the UK this year courtesy of a loop hole that allows them to offset the costs incurred by investment and development. But they will be paying out more to their shareholders than they will be investing in renewable energies: oil and gas becomes smoke and mirrors”, Patrick said

A merry dance

“In media circles, this obscene, unjustified and unjustifiable profiteering at the expense of working people was a one-day-wonder: in some cases, not even that.

“It’s been said that the job of the media is to distract working people from reality. It fulfils that role well but it also protects multi-national corporations and their operations from public inquiry. The results of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ get more media scrutiny than corporate robbery and grand larceny”, Patrick commented.

“Energy and other utility providers don’t operate as a public service. They exist to make and maximise profits”, he said.

“The solution to the cost of utilities crisis is not in vote catching gestures like ‘windfall taxes’ but in bringing utilities like gas, electricity, broadband services and fuel into public ownership and control.


“The increased poverty, deprivation and mounting mental health pressures caused by the current cost of living crisis is being fuelled by the astronomical price hikes in gas, electricity, oil and petrol. At the root of the problems lie the private ownership of the natural resources and their distribution and delivery chains” stated Patrick

“We work for our public services. We use them. We pay for them. We must own them” he concluded

Aidan McAnespie

Twenty three year old Aidan McAnespie was shot in the back and killed in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, moments after walking through a border security checkpoint in 1988.

In 2022 Aidan’s family finally secured a trial into his death and last November, the soldier who killed him was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced.

This has been a long battle for Aidan McAnespie’s family but it demonstrates that families are entitled to, and should be able to seek, justice before the courts.

This right would be removed by the Tory government’s Northern Ireland Troubles Bill which will give de facto amnesty to those responsible for grave violations of human rights by the state and paramilitaries.

The Workers Party applauds the resilience of the McAnespie family and demands an end to the Northern Ireland Troubles Bill which will only deprive families of justice.