CATU News – Week 37, 2022.
Firstly this week, a reminder of the two upcoming Cost of Living protests – in Dublin on September 24th and Belfast on October 1st. 92% of respondents voted that the union should support these protests.
There will be CATU blocs at both protests – the event page for Dublin is HERE and for Belfast is HERE. If you haven’t done so already, please circulate among your friends, comrades, unsuspecting work colleagues from 10 years ago, etc.
There will be a banner making session in A4 Sounds, off St. Joseph’s Parade in Dublin, from 6-8pm, next Wednesday (21st). This is a good opportunity to meet fellow members as well so if you’re free, drop in!
There’s also a working doc for chant and playlist suggestions for the protests. Pop yours in if you haven’t already.
CATU Cork will be hosting two exciting and unmissable trainings on the weekend of the 24th/25th of September. First up, on Saturday 24th, is landlord research session where members will learn how to research property ownership, landlords and their business interests, which are ESSENTIAL aspects of member defence. If you are planning to attend please bring a laptop as the training involves practical exercises. Secondly, on Sunday 25th, is the rent strike history research skills training which will provide members with the skills to get involved in the ongoing CATU oral history project on the national rent strikes of the early 1970s. This will include training on using newspaper archives, conducting interviews and engaging with the media, which are all useful skills in other areas of union organising. Both trainings will take place in Rebel Reads bookshop from 12-4pm each day. Please register HERE if you are planning to attend.
The CATU Latin American Working Group is getting active and gearing towards establishing a caucus in the near future – if you’re a Latin American member of the Union and would like to be involved, drop them an email at email@example.com – they’ve also just launched an Instagram page, which you can follow HERE.
CATU Sligo-Leitrim have been picketing the Apache Pizza branch in Sligo Town in support of a fellow member, Sean, who is facing eviction by owners SRT Catering. You may remember the initial actions around this issue in recent months – the Sligo-Leitrim branch intend to be out in force on a weekly basis until such time as the landlord guarantees Sean will not be evicted before the property is sold.
News now of a couple of member defence win in Harold’s Cross and Inchicore!
First up, a CATU member in Harold’s Cross who’d very recently moved in to a new property had asked her landlord for a lease – something he refused to provide. She had given him a deposit but made it clear that a lease being furnished was necessary before she paid her first month’s rent. He has, at various stages, threatened and harassed all the other tenants in the property and owns at least 2 other rental properties. He initially threatened to show up and forcibly evict the tenants last Friday but didn’t show. This time he showed up with his solicitor son-in-law who immediately called the Garda after the tenants in the hall had asked him not to enter the property. This tactic didn’t work so the landlord and solicitor then had to agree to meet our fellow member next week to negotiate the terms of lease, sign it and leave. There was a strong presence of CATU members following a callout on local WhatsApp groups and online which was instrumental in securing this outcome.
Secondly, in Inchicore, the landlord of a fellow member had been attempting to force the installation of a pay-as-you-go gas meter, and threatening eviction when this was pushed back on. Our member was obviously concerned about the dramatic increase in cost that would have followed this change, especially as we face into a Winter of extortionate energy prices. Following an intervention, instigated by the member and supported by the local branch, the planned installation of this pre-pay meter has now been called off.
CATU Inchicore-Kilmainham have been knocking on doors in recent weeks in the build-up to their Campaign Planning Night, which takes place next Monday at 18:30 in Bosco Youth Centre in Drimnagh. The meeting will look at, as the branch wonderfully put it, “planning how we use our greatest strength – ourselves – to fight for better housing in our area”.
Make sure to head along if you’re in the area!
CATU Dún Laoghaire have recently started regular weekly doorknocking sessions in order to build the union and understand what problems their community is facing and what can be done to address these. On their first outing last week, they heard about poor management of council housing and other planning issues related to traffic and road safety. The doorknocking sessions will be taking place on either Tuesday or Wednesday evenings each week in the coming months and training will be provided to anyone new to doorknocking. Doorknocking is the foundation of the union model so check in with the branch through the local WhatsApp group or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved.
CATU Lucan-Palmerstown will be hosting another of the hugely successful Landlord Research sessions on Saturday, October 8th from 12-4pm in Palmerstown Youth & Community Centre. There is space for up to 20 attendees and you don’t have to be in the branch to join – just drop them an email to register your interest at email@example.com
Research is a fundamental element in member defence cases – we need to find information on landlords and other targets (eg, letting agents, vulture funds and investors) that our committees and members encounter. This information can then help identify targets for actions, campaigns etc.
The training, facilitated by the CATU Landlord Research Team will look at vision-net, Landdirect, the Registry of Deeds and planning permission databases as tools that will help members find information about landlords, companies and other forces.
All you need to participate is 4 hours of your time, a laptop and extension lead. I went to one of these sessions earlier in the year and it could be reasonably described as the best day of my life.
CATU Liberties-Rialto, in collaboration with Dublin Digital Radio and 1815 FC are going to be playing a marathon game of football on the Michael Mallon pitch, just off Vicar Street in Dublin 8, from 12pm onwards this Sunday, September 17th, with live DJs and much more! All ages and levels of ability are welcome for a day of football, great music and craic.
Coordinates for the location of the pitch are available here.
Lastly, your weekly reminder that CATU Ballymun-Finglas will be out doorknocking this, and every Saturday in September at 2pm outside Lidl on Balcurris Road in Ballymun.
You can sign up to join them HERE.
That’s all for now – any questions or feedback are welcome as always!