The Publication of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society, particularly on our four main issue areas, which can be found here. Below is the most recent issue published, however it has been produced three times a year since 1987, and all of the articles are available in full on this site.
The goal of economic development that responds to essential human needs, respects the rights of workers to decent pay and conditions, and is sustainable in both economic and environmental terms, is the underlying theme of three of the articles in this issue of Working Notes.
In the opening article, Brendan Mac Partlin SJ explores the meaning of the Dublin Lockout of 1913 and its relevance to industrial relations in today’s globalised economy. He argues that the dispute was fundamentally about the denial to the Dublin workers of the right of freedom of association for the purposes of bettering their working conditions, in a context where huge numbers of people worked for poverty wages, had little or no security of employment and where there was no safety net of social welfare. He points out that the gains achieved in the decades after 1913, representing a ‘new deal’ for employees, have come under increasing threat since the 1970s, with the globalisation not just of economic activity but of a new form of laissez-faire capitalism. We now see the ‘old deal’ in post-modern dress, with the widespread return of insecure and low-paid employment. Brendan Mac Partlin argues that in our globalised economy the essential rights of workers, social protection and equity must also be globalised; achieving this is a significant challenge to the trade union movement of today and to the international agencies.