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Airport Workers – Hunger Strike Wins Inquiry

(March 2004)

From Socialist Voice [Dublin], March 2004.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

Two of the sacked airport shop stewards, Gordon McNeill and Madan Gupta, were forced to resort to the desperate tactic of a hunger strike in order to get their union, the T&GWU, to agree to their demand for an inquiry into its handling of their dispute.

The shop stewards occupied the lobby of Transport House on Monday 16 February and began their hunger strike.

Gordon McNeill told Socialist Voice:

“We were driven to this because of the refusal of our union, after nearly two years, to agree to investigate the role of union officials at the time we were sacked and the role of the union since then. There are many disturbing things about the role of the union that we want to see brought out.”

Within a few hours T&GWU Regional Secretary, Brendan Hodgers, agreed to meet the shop stewards. At the meeting the demand for an inquiry was granted. Gordon McNeill commented:

“We are pleased with this outcome. We are now determined that nothing will be brushed under the carpet. We don't want a Hutton inquiry. We want the truth to come out, not to damage the T&GWU so that the members can see what has gone on and take back control of the union from unelected officials.”

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