If I had a measure of magic pixie dust that could be used to solve a problem in Belfast today, I’d use it to find a resolution to the dispute between the sacked ICTS airport security workers and their union TGWU (Unite).
Having suspended their hunger strike in April when the union agreed to pay their costs, Gordon McNeill resumed again this week - hospitalised yesterday lunchtime - but signed himself out of hospital and rejoined the action again today.
I commented back in April ...
“Whatever the circumstances, it’s sad that the pair’s relationship with their union has been allowed over the years to deteriorate. Particularly, when unions are often the first to speak out about conciliation, mediation and the importance of good communications.”
Does anyone else find the idea of hunger strikes as sick?!
While thousands today will die because they want to eat but can't, why would anyone with the means to eat flaunt that in the faces of the starving? (Unless it is an act of sympathetic suffering to highlight the plight of the poor).
Please, do make protest and seek the justice which is due. But please also think about the methods and the message it sends.
I am dismayed that this dispute has been allowed to rumble on, endangering lives and damaging the credibility of trade unions. If pixie dust is in short supply, surely some kind of independent - yet binding - arbitration would be possible?