ICTU Meets the IMF – Social Partnership Goes Global?

25 Nov

So the hush puppy leaders  of ICTU met with with Chopra the Chopper and his IMF pals today. Perhaps the Beards and the Bond Junkies sipped  fine port together by the fireside of the five star Merrion Hotel where Chopra and the EU wonks are ensconced.

Clash of the Titans – The Markets Await

The ICTU heads are seasoned in the theatre of ‘talks’ and excel in the staging of all-night negotiations with a much-awaited but predictable denouement. Perhaps the Chopper was treated to an opening scene with a hammy act of  outrage from business award winner Jack  O’Connor.

Next comes the fear and loathing, as IMPACT-less Shay Cody surely got a cameo and re-enactment of a Joe Higgins style walkout in protest at the secrecy of the discussions.

Begg-ing for Austerity - How to Squeeze Workers by the Cojones

In the final act, Begg-the-Braveheart lead the troops in a spectacular rout of Chopra the Chopper and his demoralised henchmen. Cut to the credits as the workers celebrated the burning of bondholders and the execution of savage bankers.

Not likely.

Chopra Plays ‘Social Austerity Partnership’

The ICTU beards may be seasoned, but the Chopper has sweated it out before with real fatigue-clad militants in the likes of Pakistan and Argentina.

The reality of these talks is a lot more surprising: Chopra already does ‘social austerity partnership’ (sap). The IMF is wily at this ‘sap’ game and masterful at spotting the opportunity for collaboration with union leadership.

In fact, the IMF and World Bank host an annual conference with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).  It is IMF policy to always have “country mission consultations with unions” and discussions on “subjects such as social security and labour market reforms”.

At the July 2010 get together with the unions, IMF kingpin Dominique Strauss-Kahn participated in a panel debate and “met privately with some key union leaders“. He concluded on his blog that “our interaction with the labor movement is extremely valuable” and mused that  “collaboration is really the great legacy of this crisis…the labor movement needs to keep pressing this point“.

The Chopper Chopra: Social Partnership Goes Global

It gets even better. Social partnership with the IMF offers the usual plump awards to willing union beards. At one of the cosy annual IMF love-ins with the international union movement, the President of the World Bank gave a “commitment to take on a number of trade unionists for placements at the World Bank to work on priority issues identified by the trade union movement”.

This is surely a welcome opportunity now that the SKILLs slush fund is gone and that appointments to State boards are in short supply. Wouldn’t a former ICTU board member of the Irish Central Bank be Begg-ing for a stint in the World Bank?

Opportunity Knocks: World Bank HQ in Washington

Persuading the unions to come into the tent and collaborate further ensures a much smoother and pacified imposition of the IMF’s austerity measures on ordinary workers. The Chopper has found a willing accomplice in ICTU, who are past masters at this script. An earlier piece on this blog explained why the IMF will embrace the Croke Park deal.

Right on cue, lapdog Jack O’Connor commented that talks with Chopper “were good and frank” and “there was real engagement”. Former Banker Begg described the get together as “explicit”and “from a productivity point of view a good meeting”.

As predicted, ICTU will meet for more talks with the IMF next week – not to express more feeble opposition but to discuss how they can provide support for the austerity plan. They will be thrown a very minor initiative on job stimulus and a few sentences from  ‘a better, fairer way’ as a little bone in return for providing  wing cover for Chopper.

In the meantime of course, our militant union leaders will need a neo-liberal dose of fake outrage for the unions’ membership.

But you never know, the Chopper might even come along to the ICTU rally on Saturday to observe the quality of the wonderful performances.


3 Responses to “ICTU Meets the IMF – Social Partnership Goes Global?”

  1. C Flower November 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Very interesting post. I don’t think we can afford the Merrion ( we are paying the bill, you know). I know a very good B and B just off the South Circular that would do just as well… The IMF lads could stay there for as long as it takes them to get their papers together and head home.


  1. ICTU Leaders Jack O’Connor and David Begg Are Booed at Mass Protest March « Kerry Public Service Workers' Alliance - November 27, 2010

    […] IMF that he is about to enter ‘Social Austerity Partnership’ with (as discussed in a earlier post […]

  2. ICTU leaders Jack O’Connor and David Begg are booed at mass protest march « Solidarity Magazine - December 1, 2010

    […] ‘talks’ with the IMF and will agree to ‘Social Austerity Partnership’ (as discussed in an earlier post […]

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