Parting Company - Ending Social Partnership

John O'Neill johnfergaloneill at
Sat Jan 25 10:22:13 MST 2003

The Irish Socialist Network has produced a pamphlet entitled "PARTING
COMPANY- Ending Social Partnership" If any Irish subscribers to Marxmail
would like a copy, please send me your address and I will forward you a
copy. I have included the pamphlet contents and Introduction.


Background to Partnership
Partnership and Class
Has Partnership delivered for workers?
Industrial Relations
Partnership and Social Change
An Alternative


"We might, if we choose, make a point against our political historians by
pointing out that prosperity such as they speak of is purely capitalistic
prosperity-that is to say, prosperity gauged merely by the volume of wealth
produced, and entirely ignoring the manner in which the wealth is
distributed amongst the workers who produce it." James Connolly, Labour in
Irish History

The so-called Social Partnership system has held sway in the Republic of
Ireland since 1987, much to the benefit, we are told, of workers.  This myth
has endured, at least partly, due to a failure by many, in both the trade
union movement and the community sector, to subject the process to critical
analysis.  A careful analysis from a socialist perspective exposes the truth
at the core of the process; that it is about maximising profit and
exploiting labour.  Partnership simply has not and cannot deliver for
workers.  Far from delivering, this process has in fact created wider
divisions than ever before in Irish society.  The gap between rich and poor
has become a yawning gulf.  Our health and social services are in continual
crisis.  The quality of life has deteriorated while the cost of living has

We attempt in this pamphlet to outline the true nature of Partnership and
its impact on both the trade union movement and community sector.  We also
advance practical proposals on how a new opposition to Partnership might be
built.  We assert unashamedly that there can be no partnership between
capital and labour, the exploiters and the exploited, the powerful and the
marginalised.  It is now time for socialists, trade unionists and community
activists to create the only partnership that matters, a partnership of the
mass of ordinary people engaged in the struggle to bring about a socialist
transformation of society.

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