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Strikes

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Strikes

I can understand people on minimum pay levels who have a lot of responsibility,undertake unpleasant or dangerous work compared to others striking for more pay, however the majority of strikes or threatened strikes are usually in the same sectors and in many cases the wages paid are not that bad when compared with the minimum wage, if there is no shortage of suitable trained people to undertake the work should it not be left to market forces to determine the correct level of pay for any job providing it does not fall below the legal minimum wage ?
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Re: Strikes

I find it indefensible when underground drivers, reputably earning £60k per year, strike because they are asked to work weekends  Angry
Roll on driverless trains
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Re: Strikes

i'm not for unions at all... all unions do is cause trouble..
if someone isn't happy with their terms of employment then leave and go work somewhere else. there are plenty of unemployed people who would happily take the vacant job left by a disgruntled employee.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Strikes

@peterLoftus, in the case of the tube drivers not only are they on extremely good pay, they get about 46 days holiday a year.
Part of the deal they are currently refusing to accept is a £2000 bonus for keeping the tube operating 24/7 over the weekends even though no driver will work a longer week than at present.
nanotm
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Re: Strikes

since we now live in a connected age unions have outlasted their usefulness, in the past they were often a very decent thing preventing unscrupulous employers taking advantage of ill-informed employees, but in the last decade they have proven all they care about is causing disruption and lowering the standard of work done for a bigger pay packet and if the demands they make to have the salary package increased are turned down they use terrorist tactics to get their own way (causing mass disruption to innocent service users and intimidation tactics to stop people speaking out against them)
if a union declared a strike because an employer announced that they were slashing wages or were removing safety systems and putting lives at risk then it would be a valid reason, but that hasn't happened in more than 20 years, instead they call strikes to strongarm shorter working hours and greater pay every year, or because someone turned up to work drunk and got sacked for gross misconduct.......
since the unions are a self fulfilling prophecy they need to be dissolved to stop them demanding on their members behalf greater wages ad infinitum, TFL prices have skyrocketed in the last decade largely due to the constant push for higher wages by unions of the various rail worker sections, 20 years ago a soldier was paid 15k per year and a policeman the same rate, traindrivers got 20k per year, move forward to today, the soldier gets 20k per year the policeman 25k per year and the train driver starts on 54k per year ..... that's an unsustainable rate of pay increase and totally out of proportion to the wages of those doing a far more dangerous job .......
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
thejudge
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Re: Strikes

I've tried restraining myself because I know that arguing the contrary nowadays is a bit like nailing jelly to the ceiling, but here goes (and in no particular order):
(Declaration no.1: I'm a member of a TU and have been for nearly 25 years).
(Declaration no. 2: TUs are not perfect, and I wouldn't claim for one moment that they were - I've had a few things to say about/to my own down the years, and confidently expect to do it again. They tend to be as good as their members make them).
Most industrial action nowadays (strikes and short of strikes) tend not to be about pay: they are far more likely to be about other contractual matters (worsening of conditions, hours, etc.) or about threatened job cuts or just lousy behaviour by the employer.
TU members do not particularly like going on strike - after all, we lose pay for those days that we're out, and in these low-wage days that is even more difficult to absorb than used to be the case. That (and the increasingly restrictive laws governing unions - soon to get even worse if that nice Mr Javid has his way) means that fewer working days are lost to strikes now than, say, 30 years ago.
The idea of "If you don't like it, leave and get another job" is an unrealistic (if not spectacularly daft) thing to say at a time when there are six people chasing every vacancy, and not being employed leaves you wide open to Iain Duncan Smith's army of semi-trained jackals who will leave you in penury as soon as look at you.
And the idea that TUs are no longer needed because employers have somehow become scrupulous and philanthropic is either naïve or loopy. The behaviour of employers now is as cloddish and thug-like as it was prior to WW2. And why? Because they know (or, at least, feel - not without reason) that they have all the cards: laws over the last 35 years have been designed to protect their so-called "right to manage" to the detriment of those whom they manage, who have been left with fewer and fewer means with which effectively to defend themselves. That's why we've seen the rise of such wonderful developments in employment as the Zero-Hours Contract and agency work.
In defence of their members' interests, of course TU action "causes trouble"! What would be the point, otherwise, as it would mean that no pressure would be placed on the sort of sociopathic jerks who run companies and public-sector bodies alike to actually, y'know, take notice. And to compare a day or two's inconvenience in your travelling arrangements with "terrorist tactics" is - I have to say - b*****ks on a plinth.
TU members do not have the advantages enjoyed by the CEOs of large companies in having the ear (and other appendages) of those in power, and being acceded to in almost all their wishes in terms of legislation and whatnot, so we come together to defend our own interests as a counter-balance to the increasing power wielded by corporations and those politicians whom they have succeded in - to all intents and purposes - buying. What would you have us do? Leave ourselves totally defenceless?
I could go on, but I won't, if only because a worryingly large proportion of the population have bought into the mindset that you've all demonstrated, not realising that - some day, perhaps some day soon - those who hold nearly all the power in this wretched land may come for you and yours. When that happens, I hope you'll have others at your back to support you, because that is what TUs try to do, even in the face of widespread hostility deliberately spread for the purpose of the old tactic of 'divide and rule'. I know where I'd rather stand.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some jelly to nail...
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Re: Strikes

Many years ago I worked in the cutlery and silversmith industry on the maintenance team.
The company I worked at won a very lucrative order for cutlery which carried a large deadline penalty.
The schedule meant that certain shop-floor employees in various departments would be required to work over the 2 week shutdown period.
The union quickly negotiated a deal giving each worker quadruple pay and a day off in lieu for each shutdown day worked.
Us on the maintenance team always worked shutdown with the benefit of being paid time and a third and the added luxury of taking our holidays at a less busy time of the year.
I grew to detest the power of the unions who eventually were partly the cause, in my opinion of the business moving to the far east.
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thejudge
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Re: Strikes

Just so's we're clear, Strat, were you:
a) in the same union
b) not in a union at all?
If a), then I trust you made your views known to them.
If b), then you seem to be blaming the union for doing what it was there specifically to do.
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Re: Strikes

I was not in a union.
The management had agreed to the Union's 'suggestion' and it wasn't advisable to speak out against the Union.
I was only in my 20's and took guidance from my manager.
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Re: Strikes

24th September, 1945, Manhattan, lift operators went on strike, they were offered a higher rate of pay but reduced work hours, resulting in less take home pay, scoot ahead a couple of decades, lifts are automatic not requiring operators... Grin
2015, Tube drivers strike, their jobs are going to go to computers... Grin
nanotm
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Re: Strikes

that's the point though isn't it, unions demand higher payer for their members every year regardless of the economic situation, in the last 2 decades rail staff have seen their pay treble whilst everyone else hasn't even gained double the amount, every year the fare prices rise well above inflation as to rail workers pay, similar situations exist in other service professions such as teachers fire brigades and doctors, all have unions clamouring for "better pay and conditions" every year, the conditions haven't changed much in the last 30 years (other than they now work significantly shorter hours and get paid at least 4 times the amount they did back then)  the strike action the union deems necessary has disrupted huge tracts of the population, seen people loose their jobs (through not being able to get to work due to the disruptions caused) and you seem to think its a good thing ?
public sector workers are among the most protected and pampered in the country, and also the most required and they cause the biggest disruptions to normal peoples lives when they go on a general strike, in the old days a union would look after workers in a factory, the shop steward was often the union rep and would call a meeting if something was amiss, the group would take a vote and they would go on strike if the majority agreed, but two things are vastly different between that  scenario 100 years ago and today, they had the majority of members present at the meeting (if not all of them) and the majority had to agree to take action, a union creating a mobile app to let its members attend a meeting virtually and have them cast a vote electronically to ensure that the same thing happens now as then would at least ensure the majority of members agreed with the proposals rather than a select few making the suggestion to a meeting of 10-40 people (out of a membership of thousands) and having a majority of 1 to call for strike action that the majority of members neither agree with nor want but are then forced to carry out such action, which begs the question of just what mandate the union bosses are using to cause such widespread disruption, how they are able to intimidate the union members into paying to be members and doing as they are told, are we still in the era of the union thugs breaking bones to get their way (as was done frequently on the docks or at the mines) ?
how is such intimidation permitted and why do people still pay fees just so they can be bullied ?

I can understand why a union member would support them after having been a member for many years, and some of the unions are much more careful about balloting larger groups but others will use the most whimsical notions to declare action to the dismay of members on a regular basis, they have got to be reformed and if the only way to is to make a new law to make them work for their members rather than against them so be it, its that or dissolve them altogether (which would only hurt labour both in the short and long term), but the constant news about a strike being undertaken over pay or pensions needs to stop when so many normal people are lucky to have a stable job

oh and as to the comment about zero hours contracts, it was under labour they got unrestricted (anyone else remember Gordon brown announcing that he was lifting the restrictions on them to cheers from the labour benches during one of many horrible budgets he made?) and it was them that artificially lowered wages for all and sundry to keep the average man on the street in his place and grateful to the malevolent government that cornered them with hand-outs while they surged ahead with the twisted version of the utopian ideal where we are all in the shit together and there on top .....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Kremmen
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Re: Strikes

The majority of unions have acted responsibly and have prevented workers from being exploited.
Then we have the transport unions who know they have the public and employers over a barrel and as already posted are milking the situation year on year. I too look forward to driverless underground trains which I hope is primarily due to this uncaring bunch of transport unions .
They are now moaning that new ballot laws will mean that it will be almost impossible to strike unless they have over a certain % of members agreeing. That new % is still under 50% so they are admitting that the militant few are dictating to the whole workforce and wrecking Londons economy and Londons workers year on year for the most pathetic of reasons.
They frequently bang on about safety but when TfL decided to move under used ticket office sellers on to the platform to further assist passengers - 'we are striking'.
I think they should be banned from striking completely as they are abusing their position.
Let's be careful out there !
Community Veteran
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Re: Strikes

The DLR and some of the newer tube services are driverless. I read somewhere that it is not possible on the older tube lines.
Kremmen
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Re: Strikes

The Victoria line is computer controlled so all they do is open and close the doors for £50k a year, 45+ days holiday and a 35 hour week.
The local rumour is that the other lines will follow suit and there will be a new grade who will be employed at each station, on the platform, to open and close the doors from the outside.
Anything to stop the annual dick turpin tactics when they throw their toys out of the pram and hold London hostage for their inflation busting demands.
Let's be careful out there !
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Re: Strikes

I used to be a  union member and have been on a picket line. However I soon realised the union organisation was more about personal power for the officials with little regard to the consequences I moved away. However that experience was useful when later in life I was having to deal with the local union official during deployment planning for new systems, particularly in countries like France. Many unions have good intentions and want to look after their members, but they are often let down by "short sighted"  individual officials who used their power to obstruct rather than develop.
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