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April 14, 2008



UNITE are indeed to be congratulated for this timely piece of analysis. I wish my own union, Impact, would produce something equally apposite but I'm not holding my breath. Public sector unions, the utmost stalwarts of social partnership, could usefully sharpen their analytical tools and demolish the myth of a bloated and overpaid public sector workforce draining the lifeblood of the real economy. I'm encouraged by David Begg's recent emphasis on the social wage. This is a fundamentally political position and any sign of senior union figures rethinking such fundamentals is to be welcomed. As you say the raw materials of an alternative economic critique are easily obtainable - the point is to turn that critique into a political strategy that mobilises the broader labour movement against another weak partnership deal that leads us nowhere.


I don't have access to the OECD figures - they are charging 40e for the report. But what I cannot understand is, if they put Ireland so far off the top of the league for wages, why are they, the OECD, today recommending that wage restraint is necessary to keep Ireland competitive?

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