Peter Hadden Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Peter Hadden

Workers Defence

(September 1976)

From a Press statement, September 1976.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

The Labour & Trade Union Co-ordinating Group has decided to give its full backing to the Belfast Trades Council in their efforts to press the Northern Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to convene a conference of rank and file trade unionists to discuss ways and means of protecting workers from sectarian attack. The Labour & Trade Union Co-ordinating Group will use all its resources to make such a Conference a success.

Every day ordinary workers in both religious camps are being ginned down by sectarian killers. The strike by workers of the Lagan meat plant is a demonstration of the total revulsion felt by ordinary people at these attacks.

These killings must be stopped now! The question is who is going to stop them and how? Neither the police nor the army have been capable of performing this task. The paramilitary organisations are steeped to their necks in the bloodletting. It would be futile to look to them for some peace initiative. Only the trade union movement has the capacity to stay the hands of the assassins. Only working people bonded together by their class organisations can protect the lives of their fellow workers.

If the Northern Ireland Committee does not convene the proposed conference, then the Labour & Trade Union Co-ordinating Group will support the trades Council in doing so. At this conference, no matter who calls it, practical proposals as to how shop stewards committees in factories and industrial estates could combine to protect the lives of works on their way to and from and while at work must be discussed. Also the question of how shop stewards could link up with tenants associations and other local groups to eliminate intimidation and put an end to the nightly carnage now taking place, must be hammered out.

The Labour & Trade Union Co-ordinating Group call upon all union branches, shop stewards committees, Trades Councils, etc., to ensure the maximum possible turn out from all parts of Northern Ireland for such a Conference.

Further, we call upon trade union branches, shop stewards committees and Labour Party branches, both in Britain and Southern Ireland, to pass resolutions of support and solidarity with the initiative being taken by their brothers in Northern Ireland.

Peter Hadden Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 21.9.2012