by Alex White TD – Irish Independent
One hundred years ago this week, the 1913 Lockout began – a titanic struggle between capital and labour; class and power. Many in Dublin lived in squalor in tenement city slums. Work was often of a casual nature, doled out on a daily basis and given to those willing to work for the lowest wage. For those in steady employment there was little to protect their basic rights. Coupled with desperate social conditions, there was no protection for people against the vagaries of the market. While the strikers of the 1913 Lockout were defeated, their legacy of decency, social solidarity and struggle for the right to engage in collective bargaining lived on for the benefit of our nation.