When it comes to striking, it has to be said that The Socialists and The Tories have very different attitudes. The Socialists use strikes to blame the Tories for mismanagement. They use the picket line as a political soap box.
The Tories are not so keen on strikes. They understand that strikes only create unemployment, and harm the country's financial well-being. It is never in the interest of one's company to withhold labour. Tories prefer to get on with the job, and tackle any problems from the inside.
Most of us can probably remember 'Red Robbo'. After he'd organised several hundred walkouts over a period of 2 years in 1975/76, the poor British Leyland car plant at Longbridge went bankrupt.
We all certainly remember Arthur Scargill who almost single handedly closed the British Coal mines. After the Coal Board asked for government for permission to close 20 uneconomic worked-out pits, Mrs Thatcher gave permission to close just 13. Scargill took ALL his men out on strike and closed the remaining 147. Mrs Thatcher still receives hatred from the ex-mining community, whereas it should have been focused on multi-millionaire Scargill. When Socialist P M Harold Wilson had previously closed over 200 pits, he'd received no condemnation from the Unions. An uneconomic pit is an uneconomic pit, whoever is in power!
Dave Ward of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is bringing all his postal workers out on strike. With the huge reduction in 'snail mail', and parcel delivery, his 200,000 members should all be in genuine fear of losing their jobs, they are only hastening this by not working. Email and Amazon will be the inevitable winners!
As for Mick Lynch, leader of the Railway Workers Union, he is a total disgrace. He is not only depriving workers from reaching their offices, but also preventing shoppers or diners reaching city centres. Many businesses depend on Christmas trade to survive, and many risk closing down for good! It must be remembered that Train Drivers earn a minimum of £65,000 p.a. The harm that Lynch is causing will be widespread.
Striking in the UK (which is rampant at the moment) has nothing to do with wages, working conditions, or 'government austerity', it is to do with politics. Strikes are an easy way to build-up hatred against a government by putting the blame on 'lack of negotiation'. If you can build a serious 'Winter of Discontent', you might well benefit at the following General Election; at least that is what they hope.
The most powerful UK Trades unions fund the Labour Party to the tune of £Millions, making it impossible for them to speak-out against strikes (even if they wanted to). Striking is a Socialist ploy designed to influence people politically. And, yes, sadly it does work.
And finally; The Unions are demanding anywhere between 15% and 17% wage increases for various different trades, but when The Socialists were asked if they themselves would offer that 17%, they of course dodge the question. Of course they wouldn't; the economy is the economy for whoever is in power; and has to be managed correctly.
p.s. I know there will be one or two who agree with striking, but don't expect me to agree with you!
I may not reply to comments today. I have a very full agenda, and also the subject can prompt very extreme opinions. I shall leave them to speak for themselves.ReplyDelete
I am out of my depth here. I don't understand the English with regards to striking, their unions, the politics - nor, to my shame, is it a subject I have ever looked into because it simply doesn't interest me.ReplyDelete
To me, call me naive, the purpose of striking is to achieve, as you say above, fairer wages (say, in line with inflation), better working conditions etc. I always thought unions to be the facilitators, the mum and dad of a work force, fighting on your behalf. Perhaps not. I don't know.
One thing that strikes(!) me - and right from the beginning when I arrived in England took an intuitive dislike to - is the use of picket lines. As you may have guessed I don't like coercion. So whilst I do believe anyone has the right to go on strike if they aren't heard by those they depend on for their livelihood, what I do find questionable, both ethically and morally, is for those who do NOT wish to go on strike being prevented to do their job; indeed in some circles being ostracised for it.
I look forward to hearing the take of your readers on British strikes - both those who agree with you, those who don't. I migfht even learn something.
Well, Cro, that was my tentative attempt at doing your subject justice. Sometimes, she says with a wry smile, the English and some of their ways are a mystery to me, and will remain so. Which is fine.
Cro's synopsis answers many of your questions and I won't go further except to say that it is illegal for picket lines to prevent workers who wish to go to their work place from doing so. If you wish to learn a little bit more about picket line history I suggest you Google flying pickets/strikes (add strikes in order to avoid the pop group).Delete
Thanks, Rachel. What perplexes me at times that a lot of what one might interpret as social commentary, a reflection on our times (and, preferably, finding solutions to problems), Cro tends to fashion into party politics. He stands on one side, denigrates the other. This goes against my grain. Let's leave aside that I have no allegiances, no stake in any of England's political landscape, I tend to look at the individual issue and who may offer the best solution, not on whether it's the Conservative Party (which in Cro's eyes can do no wrong), Labour (can current Labour even be deemed socialist?) or the also-rans. Both my parents instilled in me to watch out for the dangers of belonging to a "club", swearing undying loyalty regardless, suspending brain (not that I am implying Cro does the latter). What perplexes me about Cro's post that he dances on two weddings (which, logistically, isn't possible). Are we talking the merits of strikes, are we talking solutions to real problems, are we just towing a party line? Divided we fall, united we stand. By which I mean that some of society's issues are bigger than an ideology, blue, red or yellow.Delete
As an aside, Rachel, I sometimes smile at the very idea what would happen in Parliament if Proportional Representation were introduced to the British voting system. A satirist's, a screAM writer's dream. Mayhem. To borrow from the long running play "No PR please ... we are British".
That's because it IS political. Who would cripple a country and its workers when a country is already on its knees other than trade unions who are politically motivated by bringing out on strike workers who are in well paid, secure jobs and leave the rest of the country to its own devices about whom and about which they care nothing.Delete
You can tell people this till you're blue in the face, but they'll still blindly follow their 'leaders'.Delete
All too simplistic...there are too often political (and financial) motives underlying everything, which are ignored by those who wish to scapegoat some people who wish to stand up for others.ReplyDelete
Also news can be presented in a biased or twisted way.
Your understanding of the history of industrial action is radically different from mine. No worker ever wants to take strike action. They are driven to it by bosses and political masters and that is what is happening this wintertime.ReplyDelete
YP, if you would point-out where I've got things wrong, I'd be pleased to address them, but I think you'll find I'm right on all cases.Delete
As you know I don't like to comment on anything political but I would just like to say this: I happen to live in the Prime Minister.s constituency-which is staunchly Tory. I am not interested in politics at all but if I was poor and unable to feed my children properly this winter (as is the father who wrote that he could only afford to pay for one hot dinner a week - a letter which prompted enough donations to pay for a hot dinner for every child in the school until Summer (I think somewhere in Bradford) I would not enjoy hearing that the Prime Minister owns quite a few large houses (the one up here in his constituency cost £1.5 million) and he has applied to ha.ve a large swimming pool I understand. Many if not most of Tory MPs (and the other parties too) have no concept of what it must be like to spend hours worrying about how they will pay this winters heating bill.ReplyDelete
Pat as shown the reason why there is a strike, or strikes in a number of places. The 'them and us' scenario which you paint Cro are far too simplistic, and it is the one thing we need to lose.ReplyDelete
Never forget unions unite people in a common cause and that cause has to be addressed, whether one likes the tone of the strike or not.
It's funny how Rolls Royce can afford to give their workers a 17 percent pay rise. The rich like Ebeneezer Sunak must have had a good year. How could anyone refuse giving the nurses their pay rise?ReplyDelete
I was very glad we were taking trains and flying out of Spain last week, and not the UK.ReplyDelete
You mean they weren't just wanting a few days off here and there.ReplyDelete
I don't agree with striking, like you I think things are better being worked out while manufacturing etc continue. I was forced to take part in a strike a long time ago, if I didn't I might have got fired, but we didn't work for two or three days and it was something to do with keeping our jobs safe, but it wasn't too long after that the factory was closed, we were all out of work and the manufacturing went off shore to a cheaper country.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your comments. I'm slightly saddened to see that the regular 'left-wingers' don't seem to understand what's going on, but I suppose it's in their interest to pretend not to.ReplyDelete
What have the left ever done for us eh?ReplyDelete
Well they got us sick pay...
Okay besides sick pay, what have the left ever done for us?
Well they got us the us free access to healthcare...
Okay besides sick pay, free access to healthcare, what have the left ever done for us?
Well what about holiday pay...
Okay, okay, besides....
The left is not the enemy. Those who take our countries assets, squeeze and strip them for profit are the ones in the wrong. CEOs and shareholders still making big profits for running a substandard service.
You quote about train drivers pay, and yet the average pay to those striking is closer to £33,000. Cherry picking of information.
I'd rather a political party funded by workers and unions than billionaires and their wannabes.
All that is probably correct, but it doesn't change the fact that unions are responsible for more unemployment than anyone else. 'Think before you strike' should be the maxim of the workers. This was my point.Delete