Friday, March 19, 2010

The Unions giveth, the Unions taketh away, Blinkered be the name of the Unions

Unite Union is on course for a strike to enliven our Easter holidays. RMT is lined up for strike action over health and safety on the railways.

[update 26th March: Great. Now British Gas is threatening to strike too.  ]

The unions' action in the run up to a General Election,  where a Conservative victory looms over our heads like a mushroom cloud of death, really strains the cock-up theory of politics to the limit.
Do the Unions not realise that they are playing into the hands of the Tories, bringing back into power the party that destroyed the unions' influence? Do they really not realise that they are helping the Tories? Is it really beyond the wit and intelligence of Union bosses to postpone their disputes for two pathetic little months, until May 7th? 

Or could it be that Conservative Party Central office has been nudging the managers of BA and Network Rail &c to provoke the unions into action?

No, of course not. I just don't do conspiracy theory.  These strikes are just the result of common or garden combined stupidity brought to us courtesy of a joint effort of unions and management. Thanks a bunch, guys.


father of the chapel said...

The TU leaders will end up in the Lords, just like the bitch Brenda Dean.

Anonymous said...

They could always wait until a Conservative government are elected in May and then their members really could be shafted.

DocRichard said...

By having their little bun-fight before they election, the unions are making it so much more likely that the Conservatives are in power, shafts at the ready.

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased that the union members are prepared to strike in defence of their rights and (therefore) our standard of living. The support offered by RMT (against government policy) to the Vestas strikers at I.O.W. wind turbine factory was excellent.

Energy could be better deployed campaigning against, and supporting campaigns against, cuts in public services (part of what the RMT strike is about) than withdrawing from participation in an election and declaring support for a party whose leader, Nick Clegg, has in competition with the Conservatives, proposed "savage cuts".

Time to start thinking.

DocRichard said...

Anon, my point is that a general election is not a good time to be striking, because it helps the Tories. That's all.
And the thing about the LibDems is not that I support their policies - I don't, except to ones I do support - but that they want a more democratic electoral system.

Anonymous said...

Why provocatively (and dismissively) use the term "bun-fight" to describe an engagement in which employees are defending their dignity, are protecting their working conditions and preventing the introduction of a second tier workforce on lower pay and worse conditions? This is what the B.A. strike is about. Workers have to respond to such developments whenever they occur. This is what Trade Unions are for.

Surely a more equitable society will not be achieved (or deserved!) by a docile population or by a population prepared to follow those who advise inaction when confronting injustice?

The thing about elections is that the outcome is determined by the electorate, not the candidates. If the Conservatives have a majority of one, the responsibility must lie with the electorate, not with any one candidate.
Of course, you are your own person and you can do as you please. The FPTP system is far from perfect but falls further from perfection when the electorate's opportunities are diminished. However, it wasn't sprung on you at the last minute, if it isn't acceptable why allow yourself to be put forward as candidate in the first place?

DocRichard said...

Anonymous, my point is that this is not a good time to have one strike, let alone three. I'm amazed that the Tories have not made more out of it. Maybe they're saving it up.

As for the tactical withdrawal, we just have to wait and see.