1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

From the mouths of babes... (Strike related)

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Dolph, 25 Mar 2006.

  1. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 49,159

    Location: Plymouth

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/humber/4841294.stm

    I have to admire that, it's a mature attitude shown by a youngster.

    I know some people will disagree with me, but far too many unions these days seem to be about throwing their weight around to force unnecessary expense onto customers and taxpayers, and are totally unwilling to consider any form of compromise. I understand that some employers are also pretty bad, but this sort of thing really annoys me.

    -Dolph
     
  2. Visage

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 13 Jan 2005

    Posts: 10,708

    I agree. I'd have no problem with, for certain unions, mandating the services of someone like ACAS as the first option, rather than the last.

    A lot of people would advocate a 'no strike' law, but, IMO, that would be going too far.
     
  3. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 49,159

    Location: Plymouth

    I wouldn't advocate a 'no strike' rule... I would, however, make it easier for companies to punish those who refuse to do their job.

    Mandating attempted concilliation is a good idea though, would certainly help some of the situations that arise.

    The biggest problem I have with many of the large unions is that they are so detatched from the businesses their members work for, they cannot see wood for trees. A classic example of this is what happened to MG Rover.

    This particular strike also irks me for the following reason...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4808224.stm

    How can they say a 28% turnout shows a mandate for a strike I'll never know....
     
  4. Visage

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 13 Jan 2005

    Posts: 10,708

    Do you think the government are willing to act, at the risk of damaging their power base in the unions?

    The cynic in me says no, but then on the other hand i'm sure they're aware of the potential backlash if they're seen to be helping their buddie sin the unions at the expense of inconveniencing the public.....
     
  5. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,014

    Location: Vvardenfell


    The collapse of Rover was due mostly to inept management (at one point near the end for instance, a workforce of 16,000 had only 10,000 who actually made cars) as are most strikes. As someone has correctly pointed out on another thread, bad union-management relations are pretty much ALWAYS management's fault. Believe it or not, most people want to work, especially as they get only very limited strike pay if they take the day off. And why should it always be the workers who have to give in? Why not management, especially as it's nealry always their fault things are in a mess in the first place. For all the speed with which they take credit for things going well, most managers are pretty quick at blaming the unions when it all goes south.


    M
     
  6. SexyGreyFox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 29 Mar 2003

    Posts: 51,681

    Location: Stoke on Trent

    Fraid you don't know what you're on about.
    Mrs Poole is striking on tuesday after all talks have broken down over the last six months.
    My wife (and 1000's like her) have been under the impression for many years that they would be able to retire at 60 and now they tell them to work until they're 65.
    If she does retire at 60 then she will lose a lot of money and we're not talking hundreds.
    People in this country seem to be happy to be walked over and only the few try to stick up for their rights.
     
  7. cleanbluesky

    Capodecina

    Joined: 2 Nov 2004

    Posts: 24,654

    The capacity to strike is the one form of protest that causes a genuine inconvenience to the government, its a very useful tool and not something that should be dismissed lightly. I am sure that little Johnny wont be missing out on much education because of this, and sometimes what is good for the teacher is good for the pupils
     
  8. Spud21

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Nov 2002

    Posts: 4,552

    Location: Bristol

    I agree with that and most of what has bee said, I don't think striking should be used hastily but in this and many cases it's when talks have been going on for a long time and have broken down repetedly, it's a last resort and is nearly always used as that. I have no problem with this strike at all, as it may make the govt sit up and take notice.

    At the end of the day if management is effective and does it's job as it should Unions are not used, at Rover the management did a very poor job and the workers turned to their unions to get something done and they did, but the management still continued to be crap and so the workers went back to the unions. Unions are rarely active if the management is doing it's job, the car plants run by the japanese car companies have many workers in Unions yet they have virtually no active unions bease they treat their staff well and talk to them, and don't blame them for everything.
     
  9. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 49,159

    Location: Plymouth

    The unions were the reason BMW pulled out and sold Rover back in 2000/2001. That was ultimately the cause of the downfall of the company, the Phoenix consortium were always working on borrowed time.

    BMW had put forward a very viable business plan/rescue package for Rover, but the unions refused to back it because it invovled actually getting rid of excess staff and making sacrifices to ensure longterm viability.

    It was that refusal to try and work with BMW that led to them selling Rover, and the subsequent problems.
     
  10. DavidMarq

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jul 2004

    Posts: 1,535

    Location: Stevenage

    I agree entirely.

    My wife as a Civilian Police Controler is a member of Unison and will be joining the strike action.

    When she joined the job the she was given the understandanding that the terms of the pension scheme were part of her employment package. For the government to then move the goalposts some years later is blatently wrong.

    The Police themselves have had their pension rights retained and this principle should apply to all existing members of the local government pension scheme.

    By all means change the rules for new employees if the scheme has becone too expensive. But to change the rules for existing employees shows a complete dissregard for peoples terms and conditions of employment.

    I hope this action either prompts a change in policy or alternatively brings the govenment down.
     
  11. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 49,159

    Location: Plymouth

    Question....

    If pension debts were going to cause major hardship or possibly the collapse of the company, is it reasonable to insist on them?

    Now expand that to the public sector. Is it fair to the taxpayer (who is footing the bill for all this) to be forced to pay disproportionate pensions while having no say?

    This is part of the reason why I hate state funding, it's like a perpetual blackhole with no checks on.

    If you tried to run a real company this way you'd end up bankrupt, but it's considered ok if it's the taxpayer footing the bill.....
     
  12. Spud21

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Nov 2002

    Posts: 4,552

    Location: Bristol

    You sure about that ? It's just i was led to believe by people inside Rover at a relatively high level that BMW sold Rover because the people at the top did a very, very effective job of making Rover look like it was savable when it wasn't and as soon as BMW had taken it over they realised this and wanted out asap and took the descent parts of the company with it.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2006
  13. DavidMarq

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jul 2004

    Posts: 1,535

    Location: Stevenage

    I understand what you are saying Dolph.

    But in the case of the Local Govenment Pensions Scheme the Govenenment still has time if it is willing to make provisions to put the necessary finance in place to cover the cost of existing pension agreements.

    The people involved in the schemes are not all going to retire tomorrow.

    As I previously stated by all means change the rules for new employees. But it is wrong not to honour existing agreements.
     
  14. KingOfAquitaine

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Sep 2005

    Posts: 312

    Must say that sort of thing about a serious issue irritates the hell outta me. So what is my answer. get some other kid to write to the government saying

    "Dear Mr Brown, my grandma doesn't earn much, but if you go through with your ideas she'll have less. You live in a big house with lots of nice things and its unfair of you to take money away from those who have not got much"

    Does that make striking now good? Sorry, but that sort of story drives me mad.

    The staff at my university are striking on tuseday as well, which is a ***** for me as it means I have to get my disseration bound two days early, but they're taking actions to try and get the laws set in place to protect the pensions of high public earner applicable for lower wage staff.

    I don't generally agree with strike action and often its counter productive. A lot scare stories, such as strike action over the switch from two coffee rounds to one causing companies to close (that actually happened to a factory in my area, they striked (stroke??) for three years over it), but what other way is there to force change. Without some sort of threat employers have no need to discuss or negotiate
     
  15. FirebarUK

    Soldato

    Joined: 9 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,637

    Location: Dorset

    His Mum or Dad probably wrote it and submitted it in his name :D
     
  16. starscream

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 8 Mar 2003

    Posts: 4,055

    Location: Looking at the internet

    Just to give you a another look on this, I've just got back tonight from a night out with a lot of my girlfriends friends from work (My girlfriend is a teacher at a secondary school). They are all striking on Tuesday and I asked them why and none of them could really give a straight answer. I seriously got the impression that most of them just see it as a day off rather than a matter of principle.

    Now I'm a fairly left wing guy and I agree with the principle of striking when necessary, but what really annoys me when people see an industrial dispute as an excuse for taking a days holiday without even knowing the real reason.

    Having looked at the article, it seems this dispute is about the retirement age raising from 60 to 65 in the public sector, which to be honest seems fine to me as people are living to greater ages than previously. It is already the retirement age in the private sector and I can see no reason why they should be different.

    For the record my gf will be working on Tuesday. I've also only glanced over the article, so sorry if I have got the wrong end of the stick about it.
     
  17. SexyGreyFox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 29 Mar 2003

    Posts: 51,681

    Location: Stoke on Trent

    Your girlfriend is a teacher and they've been guaranteed their pensions like the police have and thats why she doesn't know or isn't bothered. The people this is affecting is her assistant in class and other council type employees. Teachers will get the day off with full pay while the assistants will get nothing.
     
  18. starscream

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 8 Mar 2003

    Posts: 4,055

    Location: Looking at the internet

    Just to clarify, she's actually a graduate instructor this year and will become a NQT (Newly qualified teacher) next year so it would affect her (I should have been more specific in my post). However being roughly 40 years away from the retirement age, I guess it doesn't affect her as much as your wife - I'm assuming she's a bit older. She's actually not striking as she doesn't agree with the principle though.

    I'd be interested to learn how this affects people in your wife position though if you could explain in a bit more detail.

    Cheers
     
  19. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,014

    Location: Vvardenfell


    No, if they are on strike they don't get paid. Unless they have a VERY generous council, which I doubt.


    M
     
  20. dirtydog

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 47,398

    Location: Essex

    Or a naive attitude which you'd expect from a boy his age who has no experience of real life? ;) I used to be the same when I was a child. I would wonder why companies with striking workers didn't simply sack all of them straight away. Then you grow up, join the world of work yourself and realise that things aren't always quite that simple.

    Having said that, I do think that the government needs to stand firm against these strikers over the issue of pensions and retiring at 60, because this country is heading for bankruptcy and financial meltdown otherwise.