The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has released a powerful video to highlight the need for workers to stand in solidarity with migrants in order to counter the rise of the far-right.
The two-minute long film, which features former Fair City actor Donna Anita Nikolaisen, was released on Monday, May 1, to celebrate May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. It also marks the launch of a wider initiative by ICTU.
In a statement on the launch of the video, Owen Reidy, Congress General Secretary, explained, “The video is part of an overall plan by unions to counter the far-right and to promote the fact that the trade union movement was built on the simple idea of uniting working people standing stronger together at home and abroad, committed to fighting poverty, discrimination, racism, and fascism.”
He emphasised that trade unions are grounded in solidarity, decent work, and social justice for all working people, no matter what their background.
Highlighting that ICTU stands against those seeking to divide society, he also pointed out that “most recently, this has included stirring up hate, fear, and anger by blaming migrants and minorities for our housing crisis and our stretched public services.”
Mr Reidy concluded his statement, saying, “There are serious issues to be tackled by all of us, including the Government, and will not be solved by laying the blame on migrants and refugees – many of whom are fleeing war, famine, and oppression.”
The new ICTU strategy plans to educate and inform union members in order to equip unions to “oppose the hate-filled messages of racism, misogyny, and bigotry of the far right at every opportunity”.
Among the measures being implemented will be “training for workers to combat the far-right, to invest in workplace integration, and to seek to develop workplace leaders of minority ethnic backgrounds and bring them to the fore of trade union activities”.
The film ends with a simple but effective message, “The far-right does not represent working people – trade unions do”. It also notes that trade unions are stronger together and can only win by learning from each other and mobilising in solidarity for a different economic and political vision.
New ? ? | The Far Right doesn't represent working people.
Trade Unions do!
Together, we are stronger.
Happy #MayDay one and all. ✊?✊?✊?
— Irish Congress (ICTU) (@irishcongress) May 1, 2023
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