Fighting the PNR
SIXTEEN weeks ago, most of the people in Gateaux wouldn't have known what the term PNR meant. Certainly now they do, but now they know with regret what the term PNR means. It means to the workers in Gateaux and to the community in Finglas, a loss of 500 jobs.
The high point of Saturday's conference of trade unionists opposed to the Dublin Government's Programme for National Recovery was reached when Larry O'Toole, chairperson of the Gateaux strike Committee, brought warm greetings from the Finglas bakery which is now under occupation. He warmly thanked the rank and file of the trade union movement which had helped the Gateaux workers through a 15-week struggle. ``Unfortunately, we haven't had the same help and backing from the trade union leadership or from the ICTU. We believe that, if that backing had been forthcoming, the strike would have been over months ago.''
The ICTU leaders shied away from making an all-out picket official when the employers threatened to take out a court injunction. ``The message they were sending out to all bosses was: `If you don't want us to get involved in your strike, just take out an injunction. That'll keep us away'.''
The Gateaux workers reluctantly decided to cease demands for reopening the plant and to campaign for better redundancy pay. The offer of £175 per year of service from employers Allied Lyons was ``ridiculous and insulting''.
Phoblacht, Thursday 20 September 1990