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JB40
25th May 2011, 02:53 PM
back in the days of the industrial revolution, unscrupulous employers would force workers to suffer terrible conditions. No health and safety, wages that weren't enough to live on, and no rights when it comes to hiring and firing.
Eventually, the workers managed to organize themselves. By supporting each other, and threatening withdrawal of labour en-masse, the workers managed to force improvements on their bosses. Instead of just taking what they were given, and being grateful for it [which is what many bosses wanted from their workforce], the workers realized that together they can force through improvements to their poor quality of life.
This is what gave birth to the union movement.

Over the decades the workers fought for a decent living wage and better conditions of employment. Without the unions fighting on behalf of the workforce we would still be living in tenements, a family to one room, and dying from treatable diseases. those early union activists risked their lives for the greater good. The police were used as a private army for the industrial barons. Targeting activists and strikes with extreme brutality. [something similar happened during the miners strike in the 1980's].

improvements in the life of working people gathered pace after WW2. Better health, education and infrastructure meant that working families could expect a better life for their children and grandchildren. Working people would put up with being wage slaves because they could see a better future for their children if they worked hard enough. A decent living wage and a good education available to all meant a better life for all. Working people could even afford their own homes, which meant they were no longer at the mercy of slum lords.

the population that used to be slaves [70% of the population were in service], became the new industrial classes with power of their own.

fast forward to the 1970's/80's and it all started to go backwards.

The tories, with the help of the right wing press, began undermining the progress that had been made. They created a narrative that blamed the workers for a lack of productivity. Blaming strikes and the workers unreasonable demands for making progress difficult. The workers were asking for too much. They became greedy.

With the help of the media, particularly newspapers like the ScUM and the Daily Mail and the torygraph, even working class people bought into the myth that a decent living wage was unsustainable. This is when the torys began systematically undermining union power.

changing the law regarding secondary picketing, and buying off working people with the promise of even more house ownership by selling off our social housing stocks.

then they used the police to break the miners unions, and presided over a decline in manufacturing. Concentrating instead on service industries [just like the old days] where wages were much lower and the workforce less skilled.

All those improvements that were hard fought by the workers started to go into reverse.

and what is the result of undoing all those hard -won concessions??

Since the 70's productivity has continued to grow. But wages and conditions haven't. In the last 30 years or so wages and conditions have declined for the majority of the population. Even though the income of the top 1% has ballooned by a massive SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT. We are working longer hours, have less job security and new laws make it even more difficult for workers to strike. The bosses regularly go to court to take advantage of industrial laws that have eroded workers rights. Allowing bosses to sack their workforce and employ foreign workers for a lot less. At the same time allowing cheif executives to write their own salaries, including eye-watering bonuses that have no relation to productivity. Putting a lie to any claims that britain is a 'meritocracy'.

last week politicians went on their yearly junkett dinner with the CBI. An organization that represents the bosses. There it was agreed that the law should be changed to make striking even harder. Our elite want to make it law that a strike must have the support of more than 40% of the workforce, not just a majority of those that vote.

the tories rejected the idea of elections based on AV. Av meant that a party would have to have support from at least 50% of the voting population. They wanted to keep first past the post, which doesn't require a minimum proportion of votes. yet this is exactly what they are proposing for union ballots.

since the late 1980's, industrial disputes have almost dissappeared. There are less strikes now than at any time since records began in 1931.

all that progress that happened in the last hundred years or so have been put into reverse. And the result is that, for the first time in a century, living standards are set to fall. Except for the elite. The less they pay their workers, the more they have for themselves and their families.

de-regulated capitalism, and global market forces have bankrupted society. Schools and hospitals are being sacrificed to the private sector to make profits on peoples health and education. the transport infrastructure was sold to the private sector. Making it more expensive and less efficient. And the bankers and industrialists can do what they like without fear of censure.

Welcome to the 21st century.

McDUB BOY aka Superal
25th May 2011, 02:59 PM
Great read jimmy ,word

rhondda rudie
25th May 2011, 03:08 PM
YES!!!! Tell it like it is Jimmy.

It does us all good to be reminded of the roots of trade unions and how so many things we take for granted today had to be fought for.

As for the strike ballots,what fking hypocricy.There'll be MPs from marginal seats voting in favour who got elected with far less than 40% of the total electorate in their constituencies.Let's see if the lib dems can partially redeem themselves by killing this bulls**t stone dead.

one love
25th May 2011, 03:39 PM
The only tings you've said Jim,are true!Respect man!

Kodiak
25th May 2011, 04:36 PM
Okay, I know that there are alot of unionized workers on the board, and this is not going to be pretty, but here goes my opinion...

I agree with everything you have said about the initial fight for worker's rights after worker's had to endure years of brutal wages and conditions and that they have made hugh progress in worker's rights over the years...

BUT

Fast forward to present day and big city: We have in recent years been held hostage by way too many unions in my city. Just two years ago, the garbage workers went on strike for 40 days in JULY and caused the city to suffer, both residents and the huge tourism industry. I cannot even begin to list all the companies that eventually had to temporarily close down because of it. Public transit workers have shut down the city for days on end as well, disrupting transit service to close to a million people, again causing major repercussions to companies and people's salaries. The list goes on and on....and the list of smaller companies and individuals who suffer because of union strikes is endless.

Several strikes, or threats of strikes, happened during the recession. Most of the issues that they tried to convince the public of were unfair wage increases or better benefits. Well, as a worker of a non-unioned employer, and good at my job, we were happy to get any salary increase at all. Why? Because it was a recession and everyone was in the same position (except the banks, but that's another story in itself). I was happy to have a job. Many people had already been laid off, including my spouse. It was a recession. Times were tough for everyone. But unions tried to bully their way into getting better wages when so many people would have done anything to get a job. My wages and benefits are pretty good - if I want better wages or benefits, I do what most others do, I go get another job somewhere else.

I have also heard of unions protecting workers who are dead-beats. It is also very hard to fire a union worker. Well, in most jobs, if you are a dead-beat worker, you get fired and someone who actually wants to do your job, gets that job. In this day and age with so many people wanting and needing a job, why is it fair that people who are in unions are guaranteed a job when so many others have to earn their job to keep it.

The constant strikes or threats of strikes, usually over a fairly minor wages or benefit changes, are expensive, disruptive, and a bullying tactic - that the general public suffer the most consequences of. I believe that most people's opinions, at least in Canada, have gone from high regard for the union and the progress that they have made over decades to have complete disrespect for their constant demands, greed and cries of unfairness.

JB40
25th May 2011, 04:57 PM
yes trish. looks like you've swallowed the propaganda hook line and sinker.

there are two fundamental facts that undermine your argument.

1. In Uk and the US productivity has risen quite substantially over the last thirty years. But wages haven't. That means we are working harder now for less money. wanting wages to keep up with growth is not unreasonable.

2. In the UK we have the lowest level of strikes since records began in 1931.

the right wing media have a vested interest in keeping people ignorant of the real facts. they sow the seeds of discontent among secure employees. Brainwashing better off employees into seeing industrial disputes as disruptive rather than progressive.

divide and rule always works.

TiciaBlovesUB
25th May 2011, 05:06 PM
"back in the days of the industrial revolution..........Welcome to the 21st century."

Quite a good thought there, James.

Kodiak
25th May 2011, 05:30 PM
yes trish. looks like you've swallowed the propaganda hook line and sinker.

there are two fundamental facts that undermine your argument.

1. In Uk and the US productivity has risen quite substantially over the last thirty years. But wages haven't. That means we are working harder now for less money. wanting wages to keep up with growth is not unreasonable.

2. In the UK we have the lowest level of strikes since records began in 1931.

the right wing media have a vested interest in keeping people ignorant of the real facts. they sow the seeds of discontent among secure employees. Brainwashing better off employees into seeing industrial disputes as disruptive rather than progressive.

divide and rule always works.

No, actually I haven't taken it in hook, line and sinker. And I have alot of friends in unions. There are some good things about unions. I'm partially b*tching because the majority of people in my city have gone through way too many strikes that have nothing to do with us (and most people don't just support another worker simply because they're a "worker" too, there are too many variances of workers in this day and age, and way too many complainers). Why should I not be able to get to my job because a worker is mad that they don't like their new wage/contract? Why should I not get paid because they're using bullying tactics to get what they want? And for the record, I do not want the option to strike, or bully. If I don't like it, I leave and go elsewhere, where they have better wages, etc. And why should I have sympathy when unionized workers are getting alot better wages than the general public, and have been for years.

I completely agree with employees having rights, but that's what our legislation and varying laws are for. And because I have done employment law over the years (non-union), I know that it protects employees.

It is across the board that demand and productivity are up, and wages aren't what they should be - in both unionized and non-unionized jobs. Everything is more expensive now. But I will not buy into the argument that unions are the ones that have got us fair wages all this time (they did help of course) and we need them to keep wages fair. If that is the case, why aren't wages up to par now? Have the unions been unsuccessful?

BTW, the result of the garbage strike in 2009 here? They just took the contract away from the union and privately contracted it out. Toronto as a city voted against the union continuing to do the garbage pick up, one of the big reasons is the constant threat of strikes.

And by no means am I a "secure" or "better off" employee. My firm has also had to let employees go in different areas over the last few years, top to bottom.

nephertiti
25th May 2011, 07:24 PM
mmm - I admire the products of your brains

did not know that we had increased productivity ....so I will quote that...

Think

We would not have go where we are - no doubt, without the unions
Unions are being eroded and companies are now rife with bullying, overworking, stress and incompetent management of people
The union was my fist port of call in a problem and I felt supported
Possibly see some of Kodiak's points....but is that not a minority - i would think the majority of people who strike might be wanting oi improve conditions (I speak with absolute ignorance of Unions in Canada BTW)

mrClaypole
25th May 2011, 07:30 PM
Wages are a sodding unfunny joke right now. I cant even get a bloody job and ive applied for just about everything. But there was an interesting letter in the Birmingham Evening mail last week in which a man who said he wished he could shove his wage slip in David Camerons face and ask him if he could live on the 144 he was taking home.

Basically he said that the royal wedding had cost him a days wages and then went on to explain that he gets up for work at 5.30 and is very rarely home before 7pm and he does this 6 days a week. Out of his wages he has to find 100 in rent and then the rest servicing bills, he basically ends up negative at the end of every week.

He said that hes seriouls yhaving to think about shop lifting just to eat.

Now this bull that ive been reading in the papers that the UK has a great standard of living, well im sorry when you are addign the wages in of the richest people into the average pot then yes the figures are going to look quite good. But if you were too take out the wages of the Sunday Times rich list folks, then im afraid you will find the real cost of living.


Put simply, this country for myself and just about everybody I know is too expensive, too crowded, too over worked, too stressed and too DAMN TIRED to do anything about it!!!.

Still the plan to demoralise and skint us to get us into the Euro is going well, I give it another 18 months before we are truly ****ed on purpose.

GefferyMorgan
25th May 2011, 08:40 PM
I have to agree with Trish on this one. I think unions were a good thing in the beginning. Way back in the day when employers could pay employees as little as they wanted and subject them to all types of brutal conditions. Unions did go a long way in fighting for workers rights. However, somewhere in the annals of time, the plot's been lost by unions. What once was a good thing, aimed at gaining workers rights, is now a tool used to make the members of the unions feel as though they are ENTITLED to SPECIAL TREATMENT. Therein lies the greed. They don't want FAIR treatment. And God forbid someone comes in while they are striking and do their job for them...those people are called SCABS, simply because they are willing to work while the strikers would rather complain.

kate13
25th May 2011, 08:43 PM
GM i couldn't be a scab, unions here haven't got the clout what they used to have.
I blame one women for that ?

rhondda rudie
25th May 2011, 08:49 PM
Okay, I know that there are alot of unionized workers on the board, and this is not going to be pretty, but here goes my opinion...

I agree with everything you have said about the initial fight for worker's rights after worker's had to endure years of brutal wages and conditions and that they have made hugh progress in worker's rights over the years...

BUT

Fast forward to present day and big city: We have in recent years been held hostage by way too many unions in my city. Just two years ago, the garbage workers went on strike for 40 days in JULY and caused the city to suffer, both residents and the huge tourism industry. I cannot even begin to list all the companies that eventually had to temporarily close down because of it. Public transit workers have shut down the city for days on end as well, disrupting transit service to close to a million people, again causing major repercussions to companies and people's salaries. The list goes on and on....and the list of smaller companies and individuals who suffer because of union strikes is endless.

Several strikes, or threats of strikes, happened during the recession. Most of the issues that they tried to convince the public of were unfair wage increases or better benefits. Well, as a worker of a non-unioned employer, and good at my job, we were happy to get any salary increase at all. Why? Because it was a recession and everyone was in the same position (except the banks, but that's another story in itself). I was happy to have a job. Many people had already been laid off, including my spouse. It was a recession. Times were tough for everyone. But unions tried to bully their way into getting better wages when so many people would have done anything to get a job. My wages and benefits are pretty good - if I want better wages or benefits, I do what most others do, I go get another job somewhere else.

I have also heard of unions protecting workers who are dead-beats. It is also very hard to fire a union worker. Well, in most jobs, if you are a dead-beat worker, you get fired and someone who actually wants to do your job, gets that job. In this day and age with so many people wanting and needing a job, why is it fair that people who are in unions are guaranteed a job when so many others have to earn their job to keep it.

The constant strikes or threats of strikes, usually over a fairly minor wages or benefit changes, are expensive, disruptive, and a bullying tactic - that the general public suffer the most consequences of. I believe that most people's opinions, at least in Canada, have gone from high regard for the union and the progress that they have made over decades to have complete disrespect for their constant demands, greed and cries of unfairness.

Happy birthday again btw.lol

Your point about garbage collecters really took me back.When the conservatives were in over here last time they forced local councils to adopt a system of cumpulsory competitive tendering for many services including garbage collection.Private firms would bid for contracts,typically of 1 or 2 years duration,with the lowest bidder winning.Workers kept their jobs but everytime a contract came up for renewel their wages went down.These workers were already poorly paid so could ill afford any reduction.It took a group of female cleaners,backed by their union,taking their case to the European court of human rights to stop the practice.The main reason employers got away with it was the the lack of a statutory mimimum wage which Labour put right in the late 90s.

Jimmy makes a good point about productivity.For example,in the UK rail industry we are running double the number of trains than we did 20 years ago with half the number of staff.When the network was state owned the chairman of British Rail earned a salary of about 90,000 a year.Bear in mind he was in charge of all passenger,freight,signalling and track operations.Post privatisation there are 20 odd companies just running passenger services each with an MD earning massive 6 figure salaries.They must be in a good union.

rhondda rudie
25th May 2011, 09:02 PM
I have to agree with Trish on this one. I think unions were a good thing in the beginning. Way back in the day when employers could pay employees as little as they wanted and subject them to all types of brutal conditions. Unions did go a long way in fighting for workers rights. However, somewhere in the annals of time, the plot's been lost by unions. What once was a good thing, aimed at gaining workers rights, is now a tool used to make the members of the unions feel as though they are ENTITLED to SPECIAL TREATMENT. Therein lies the greed. They don't want FAIR treatment. And God forbid someone comes in while they are striking and do their job for them...those people are called SCABS, simply because they are willing to work while the strikers would rather complain.

Scabs is an accurate description GM.

Starshine007
25th May 2011, 09:04 PM
Haven't time to read all this now, sorry, it looks most interesting but just picking up on Tom's last point prior to his scabs one. At our work,the majority of us are in a union, the GMB. We have to negotiate our pay every year and are on strict salary scales (don't get me started about them!). However, the directors and chief exec negotiate their own rises no matter what the rate of inflation/state of the organisation/blah blah blah. And they are NOT on any scale, it's just down to how much they can screw out of the place. I'm all for unions but I don't disagree totally with Trish, many of them are way too money grubbing at the wrong time and they aren't always "fair" to the lowest paid. Oh and last year the chief exec said "well you're getting 1 per cent and that's that". No negotiating whatsoever!

GefferyMorgan
25th May 2011, 09:10 PM
Scabs is an accurate description GM.


Scabs are willing to work. Nuff said.

rhondda rudie
25th May 2011, 09:17 PM
Scabs are willing to work. Nuff said.

And thereby undermining efforts to obtain decent wages and/or conditions.

JB40
26th May 2011, 03:41 AM
Exactly Tom. We live in immoral times where the bosses can sack the whole workforce and bring in cheaper foriegn workers through agencys. it's like, in the old days, mercenaries were looked down on. killing for money. Now we call them 'private contractors' and they get paid with our tax money.
I'm amazed at what little respect the people who sacrificed everything to improve conditions for everyone are shown. scabs are just a tool that bosses use to suppress the workforce. if your not prepared to do what you are told then we'll get someone in who will.

productivity has increased. The bosses income has increased by SIXTY FIVE PERCENT. But the workers, the ones who actually fuel the growth are seeing their living standards fall. How can that possibly be fair???

and the only reason they get away with it is because the unions have been neutered.

the bankers are still paying them selves monopoly money bonuses. The CEO's of most industries are getting as much as 200-times more than the workers. politicians are fiddling their expenses.

the average wage has flatlined. the cost of living is sky-rocketing.

and some of you guys are accusing the WORKERS of being GREEDY.


that just seems perverse to me.

JB40
26th May 2011, 04:32 AM
i can see what the union bashers are saying.

that the unions misuse their power, they are greedy and asking too much. that they are protecting the feckless, and interfere with the smooth running of companies and disrupt others lives by striking.

I can't comment about canada because i'm not that familiar with how things run their. i know a little bit more about the US, but would have to defer to anyone who actually lives there.

but.

i do know about the UK. And I'm familiar with those arguments from our right wing press. And I also know those arguments are irrational, and fly in the face of the evidence.

they don't address any of the main points i have been making.

firstly.
Union power has been eroded over the last thirty years. Fact. Not even the most anti-union zealot would argue against that. not here in the UK anyway [they would say it was a good thing and you might agree]

secondly.
statistics show that in the UK and US, in the last thirty years, productivity has increased, but wages haven't. whichever stats you use, the outcome is the same. It can't be disputed.

thirdly.
in the last 10 years, income for the top 1% has risen 65%. Another stat from several different sources. there's greed and there's GREED

the only part of my argument that can be disputed is whether it's right to make a correlation between those facts.

i'm suggesting that there is a relationship between the erosion of union power and the fall in living standards for the average joe.

and weak unions allow the bosses to fill their boots and make workers redundant at a whim.

and that unions are the only thing that stands in the way of a retreat to less civilized times where the rich could do whatever they please, and everyone else can go f**k themselves.

flyin'irie
26th May 2011, 08:22 AM
Salute everyone

Thanks for that nice history reminder JB.

I hardly understand how one can dismiss the relevance of unions in the days we live now.
Human nature remaining the same, the dynamics at play haven't changed since those old days. They have even gotten worse for the employees due to the GLOBALIZATION, the effect of which is to level working conditions and standard of living towards the bottom.

"if you don't like it, just go find a job "ELSEWHERE" " ??????

Come on, frankly, with all due respect, isn't that a bit too easy to say ?
It is fundamental that the resistance to this dangerous race to the bottom is seriously re-organized. Is it that difficult to look around in one's country (wherever you live) and around the world and realize that there soon won't be any "ELSEWHERE" to go to make a decent living if nothing is done?
The fact that people wouldn't hesitate to take a whole city in hostage simply reflects how violent the system have become to them and left them without any satisfactory mean to express their dignity. They don't do it for fun. Their livings are at stake...

Beyond the sometimes corrupt nature of some unions leading spheres, the principle of "brutalizing" a bit those capital worshipers and seriously shifting the balance towards more social justice is absolutely RIGHT. end of.

One of French people well known tradition is its propensity to go on strike "on a whim". All sorts of very strong discontent and critics are expressed about it on a regular basis by those "held in hostage". I have to admit, sometimes rightly so. But hang on, just look at the big picture here. I'll dare a comparison that may be seen as inapropriate of me but it's blunt reality: The french enjoy an overall better standard of living than that offered by the traditionnaly liberal english speaking world particularly in relation with labour law, healthcare protection and public service quality. But like everywhere, all this is on a downhill slope at an alarming pace...

JB40
26th May 2011, 09:27 AM
Too right feno.
that's why certain sections of UK society don't like the french [ScUM readers]. There quality of life is so much better. They don't suffer from that protestant work ethic. They work to live, not live to work. They had the shortest hours in europe, better holidays, better education, and of course, better food. Women historically have more power. they have generally a better standard of living.
pressure from countries like the UK is slowly taking those hard earned privileges away.

Because the UK miners had insisted on being generously rewarded for keeping our fires lit in inhuman conditions, thatcher decided to come down on them. She closed the pits and shipped coal from venezuela at a fraction of the price. It was cheap because it was pulled out of the ground by children for a subsistence wage. She thought british miners were greedy and too powerful [where have i heard that before?].

personally, i think those miners deserved to be paid 10-times more than thatcher should be paid. She thought she was tough, but she would run screaming after a couple of hours down a pit. those miners worked hard in conditions that most of us would be incapable of handling. And they did it so we could keep our cookers and TV's and central heating going, things we took for granted till the strikes happened. Then people moaned about the disruption to their daily lives. We complained because we missed our favorite soap operas on TV. Not giving a thought to the fact that these miners were actually fighting for their real lives. Even though they were probably the best paid industrial workers in the country, they deserved every penny, and more, they deserved a medal.

so while the financiers were asset -stripping whole industries, and paying themselves a fortune for ruining people's lives with redundancy. We were expecting the miners to take a PAY CUT. where's the justice in that.

factory workers [my dad was one, till he was made redundant at 49] deserve to be paid damn good money for doing the mindless tasks that were expected of them. My dad worked in terrible conditions that probably shortened his life [most of his workmates were dead well before 70], but he did it because it was good money. It was a decent reward for his graft.

when I was a kid we went to the works social club every sunday. Had a works pantomime every christmas, as well as works fishing trips. These were benefits fought for, and run by his union. It helped to make up for the physical demands of his job. And it was a support mechanism for raising his family, and improving his quality of life.

without that, we are no more than slaves.

McDUB BOY aka Superal
26th May 2011, 10:41 AM
too right feno.
That's why certain sections of uk society don't like the french [scum readers]. There quality of life is so much better. They don't suffer from that protestant work ethic. They work to live, not live to work. They had the shortest hours in europe, better holidays, better education, and of course, better food. Women historically have more power. They have generally a better standard of living.
Pressure from countries like the uk is slowly taking those hard earned privileges away.

Because the uk miners had insisted on being generously rewarded for keeping our fires lit in inhuman conditions, thatcher decided to come down on them. She closed the pits and shipped coal from venezuela at a fraction of the price. It was cheap because it was pulled out of the ground by children for a subsistence wage. She thought british miners were greedy and too powerful [where have i heard that before?].

Personally, i think those miners deserved to be paid 10-times more than thatcher should be paid. She thought she was tough, but she would run screaming after a couple of hours down a pit. Those miners worked hard in conditions that most of us would be incapable of handling. And they did it so we could keep our cookers and tv's and central heating going, things we took for granted till the strikes happened. Then people moaned about the disruption to their daily lives. We complained because we missed our favorite soap operas on tv. Not giving a thought to the fact that these miners were actually fighting for their real lives. Even though they were probably the best paid industrial workers in the country, they deserved every penny, and more, they deserved a medal.

So while the financiers were asset -stripping whole industries, and paying themselves a fortune for ruining people's lives with redundancy. We were expecting the miners to take a pay cut. Where's the justice in that.

Factory workers [my dad was one, till he was made redundant at 49] deserve to be paid damn good money for doing the mindless tasks that were expected of them. My dad worked in terrible conditions that probably shortened his life [most of his workmates were dead well before 70], but he did it because it was good money. It was a decent reward for his graft.

When i was a kid we went to the works social club every sunday. Had a works pantomime every christmas, as well as works fishing trips. These were benefits fought for, and run by his union. It helped to make up for the physical demands of his job. And it was a support mechanism for raising his family, and improving his quality of life.

Without that, we are no more than slaves.

what a bloody great read

Waltjo
26th May 2011, 10:58 AM
I don't see any of these scabs refusing a pay rise awarded through the sheer hardships endured by the strikers. Oh no they are quite willing to let other people go through it, but will still have their hands out for the pay rise :madder:

McDUB BOY aka Superal
26th May 2011, 11:04 AM
Same with the steel works , i lived in corby when they shut them , i live in motherwell where they shut them to .

flyin'irie
26th May 2011, 11:07 AM
I don't see any of these scabs refusing a pay rise awarded through the sheer hardships endured by the strikers. Oh no they are quite willing to let other people go through it, but will still have their hands out for the pay rise :madder:

What she said

rhondda rudie
26th May 2011, 11:57 AM
Typically eloquent contribution from Feno.:smile:

I also want to pick up on Jimmy's point on the good work of his dad's union.The NUM played a similar role in South Wales.When the valleys became a boom area in the late 19th/early 20th century virtually all hospitals (pre NHS),libraries and theatres were built from money from a special fund established by the miners union where each miner paid a penny in the pound from his wages towards.Miners were acutely aware how unpleasant and dangerous their work was and were therefore determined that their sons should not have to follow them underground.Great emphasis was placed on education with kids who did well at school receiving scholarships to go to university paid for by the miners union.It's the sole reason Wales produced far more than its fair share of doctors and teachers from the 50s through to the 80s.

Also totally agree with Mags.Scabs are parasites who feed off the sacrifices of others after stabbing them in the back.There is a guard from our Cardiff depot who scabbed in the 70s and still doesn't come into our mess room because nobody will talk to him.Some may call that unfair but I call it principled.

flyin'irie
26th May 2011, 12:47 PM
By the way, Nice pic Tom ;-)

But for that scab from your Cardiff depot, come on, don't everyone make mistakes, can learn, and maybe deserve a second chance... ? that was more than 30 years ago
But yeah. To have principles is good...

rhondda rudie
26th May 2011, 01:06 PM
By the way, Nice pic Tom ;-)

But for that scab from your Cardiff depot, come on, don't everyone make mistakes, can learn, and maybe deserve a second chance... ? that was more than 30 years ago
But yeah. To have principles is good...

Thanks Feno.

I live in an area once dominated by the coalmining industry.Miners were always in the forefront of the battle for social justice and not just in the mining industry itself.All the coal mines are now gone but the sense of community and solidarity remains so anyone who does something that people think contradicts that ethos is frowned upon and is often ostracised.

flyin'irie
26th May 2011, 01:11 PM
I understand.

Kodiak
26th May 2011, 03:24 PM
Just to clarify, as I said in my original response, I live in a very large city. I do not agree with the unions that we have to deal with here, as these are the unions that I have knowledge of. I am referring to city workers, police, paramedics, teachers, postal workers, transportation, etc. etc.

And those unions are what I am basing my "greed", etc. statements on. These unions almost always striking on wages, benefit, vacation/sick day issues, not working conditions. These unions are extremely difficult to get into but once in, you're set for life, good worker or not.

But I have not changed my overall view of unions either, just that I have better knowledge of these unions. Some good points brought up.

JB40
26th May 2011, 04:21 PM
when the postal workers went on strike a while back, it was because the new CEO [adam crozier] had made workers redundant and those that were left were expected to do MORE work for LESS pay.

and as tom pointed out, train workers were expected to run twice the amount of train s for less money.

it's been the same story in all our major cities. the refuse collectors were expected to take a 30% wage CUT. At a time when the cost of living is spiralling upwards.

this is at a time when the CEO's of these companies were awarding themselves multi-million pound salaries and eye-watering bonuses.

what i find strange about our trans-atlantic union bashers is there is no mention of corporate greed.

it's the greed of the top executives that has brought the whole world to it's knees. If the bankers had kept just a small proportion of the bonus pots back so that there was more money left in the system, we wouldn't be suffering the financial crisis that we now have.

those that are complaining about the greed of the workers [for wanting a better standard of living] have made no mention of the really greedy bstrds. the bosses who line their pockets at the expense of the struggling workforce.

Kodiak
26th May 2011, 06:18 PM
when the postal workers went on strike a while back, it was because the new CEO [adam crozier] had made workers redundant and those that were left were expected to do MORE work for LESS pay.

and as tom pointed out, train workers were expected to run twice the amount of train s for less money.

it's been the same story in all our major cities. the refuse collectors were expected to take a 30% wage CUT. At a time when the cost of living is spiralling upwards.

this is at a time when the CEO's of these companies were awarding themselves multi-million pound salaries and eye-watering bonuses.

what i find strange about our trans-atlantic union bashers is there is no mention of corporate greed.

it's the greed of the top executives that has brought the whole world to it's knees. If the bankers had kept just a small proportion of the bonus pots back so that there was more money left in the system, we wouldn't be suffering the financial crisis that we now have.

those that are complaining about the greed of the workers [for wanting a better standard of living] have made no mention of the really greedy bstrds. the bosses who line their pockets at the expense of the struggling workforce.

This trans-Atlantic union basher didn't mention corporate greed because it was assumed. Corporate greed is in every company, whether unionized or not.

And let me clarify one other thing...I am talking about present day unions.

I don't think that any company has the right to cut people's pay unless they are cutting their hours/responsibilities. And I cannot think of any examples here of lowering wages.

Labour laws are written into law in most countries now. We have several bodies that protect employees in Canada, and complaints can be brought to these places while you are still working there. If you are wrongfully terminated, there are laws here as well to ensure that you are fairly treated and/or compensated.

Unions bring the "us against them" mentality. Employees feel like, as a group, they can get what they want from their employers, and will use bullying tactics (i.e. strikes, etc.) to do it, no matter who or how many are inconvenienced. Its all about the members...and why not, that's what the union bosses have been preaching to them the whole time (besides "its us against them"). And that's why they have to pay their dues (the union bosses have their members best interests in mind, but only if they pay them).

Union members here are paid VERY well, and yet still insist that they need raises, and damn good ones, every year. Problem is, unrealistic wages (coupled with corporate greed) encourage employers to reduce workers or outsource the work.

I agree that the top executives at alot of companies have been greedy...but so have union members. As I mentioned, most strikes from unions now are about wages and benefits...this coming from people who already make good money and have good benefits. And let's face it, jobs are becoming redundant, whether you're unionized or not. Sucks, but its reality. Job security, as nice as it would be, is not realistic anymore. No one can guarantee anyone has a job...its a sign of the times and the economy. But union members demand job security most times, along with their raises, etc.

And lastly, I know I wouldn't want to be grouped with hundreds of others...I can handle myself and my work issues, and when I do an excellent job, I want to be "recognized" at some stage (whether it be at raise time or reputation wise), not grouped in with all other workers, good and bad. I think the bad workers are able to hide well, and very good workers don't get what they deserve.

I think that union members, as well as top executives, need to join the rest of the world...in reality.

Now, must go...heard there was a sighting of Jimmy Hoffa...

JB40
26th May 2011, 06:57 PM
your repeating yourself trish.

maybe that is the case in canada. But it certainly isn't the case in any other advanced, industrialized country. except for the ones that still have strong unions like the scanwegian region.

a reduction in the standard of living is on the agenda in most western countries, including most of europe and america. it's been part of the news agenda for nearly two years. 'Liberal' employment laws have been applied across the board. and by liberal i mean employment laws that favor the emploYER not the emploYEE.
this pattern has been repeated across the globe as 'credit rating agencies' force governments into cutting services and wages. These 'credit rating agencies' are, coincidentally, the same financiers that approved the selling of toxic debt which eventually led to the financial meltdown. financiers that have been paying themselves bigger and bigger salaries despite the desperate situation they have created.

i suppose it's possible that canada is so progressive that the bosses and the legal system are all that is needed to look after the interests of the workers. thus doing away with the need for those pesky unions. but it certainly is not the case in any other country i am aware of.

what I suspect is that canada is bringing in draconian measures to cut their deficit, like every other advanced industrialized country in the world. Cutting public services and swelling the ranks of the unemployed to reduce a deficit that was created by bailing out the banks to the tune of hundreds of billions.

from this perspective your animosity towards the unions is irrational.

the fact is, the elite have bankrupted the whole world. And it's now down to average joe to bail them out.

if you don't recognize that, then you are in denial.

McDUB BOY aka Superal
26th May 2011, 07:12 PM
your repeating yourself trish.

Maybe that is the case in canada. But it certainly isn't the case in any other advanced, industrialized country. Except for the ones that still have strong unions like the scanwegian region.

A reduction in the standard of living is on the agenda in most western countries, including most of europe and america. It's been part of the news agenda for nearly two years. 'liberal' employment laws have been applied across the board. And by liberal i mean employment laws that favor the employer not the employee.
This pattern has been repeated across the globe as 'credit rating agencies' force governments into cutting services and wages. These 'credit rating agencies' are, coincidentally, the same financiers that approved the selling of toxic debt which eventually led to the financial meltdown. Financiers that have been paying themselves bigger and bigger salaries despite the desperate situation they have created.

I suppose it's possible that canada is so progressive that the bosses and the legal system are all that is needed to look after the interests of the workers. Thus doing away with the need for those pesky unions. But it certainly is not the case in any other country i am aware of.

What i suspect is that canada is bringing in draconian measures to cut their deficit, like every other advanced industrialized country in the world. Cutting public services and swelling the ranks of the unemployed to reduce a deficit that was created by bailing out the banks to the tune of hundreds of billions.

From this perspective your animosity towards the unions is irrational.

The fact is, the elite have bankrupted the whole world. And it's now down to average joe to bail them out.

If you don't recognize that, then you are in denial.

must say jimmy is right on this ,

flyin'irie
27th May 2011, 01:16 AM
This trans-Atlantic union basher didn't mention corporate greed because it was assumed. Corporate greed is in every company, whether unionized or not.

And let me clarify one other thing...I am talking about present day unions.

I don't think that any company has the right to cut people's pay unless they are cutting their hours/responsibilities. And I cannot think of any examples here of lowering wages.

Labour laws are written into law in most countries now. We have several bodies that protect employees in Canada, and complaints can be brought to these places while you are still working there. If you are wrongfully terminated, there are laws here as well to ensure that you are fairly treated and/or compensated.

Unions bring the "us against them" mentality. Employees feel like, as a group, they can get what they want from their employers, and will use bullying tactics (i.e. strikes, etc.) to do it, no matter who or how many are inconvenienced. Its all about the members...and why not, that's what the union bosses have been preaching to them the whole time (besides "its us against them"). And that's why they have to pay their dues (the union bosses have their members best interests in mind, but only if they pay them).

Union members here are paid VERY well, and yet still insist that they need raises, and damn good ones, every year. Problem is, unrealistic wages (coupled with corporate greed) encourage employers to reduce workers or outsource the work.

I agree that the top executives at alot of companies have been greedy...but so have union members. As I mentioned, most strikes from unions now are about wages and benefits...this coming from people who already make good money and have good benefits. And let's face it, jobs are becoming redundant, whether you're unionized or not. Sucks, but its reality. Job security, as nice as it would be, is not realistic anymore. No one can guarantee anyone has a job...its a sign of the times and the economy. But union members demand job security most times, along with their raises, etc.

And lastly, I know I wouldn't want to be grouped with hundreds of others...I can handle myself and my work issues, and when I do an excellent job, I want to be "recognized" at some stage (whether it be at raise time or reputation wise), not grouped in with all other workers, good and bad. I think the bad workers are able to hide well, and very good workers don't get what they deserve.

I think that union members, as well as top executives, need to join the rest of the world...in reality.

Now, must go...heard there was a sighting of Jimmy Hoffa...

Hi,

The unions are there to protect the employees from being crushed by the logic of greed. That's the essence of their existence, and that's the reason why they were set up in the first place. Those "protective labour laws" you are mentionning wouldn't have existed hadn't they been there. And it's not like one day, everything became good enough for the workers in such a way that unions became obsolete. It's a continuous battle due to the "balance of power" nature of the reached equilibrium. What we are witnessing today is a huge advantage regained by the corporations through mecanisms well decribed by Jimmy and Tom on this and other threads, hence the urgent need for the unions or any other type of employees protective organization to rethink their ways of enforcing their own logic.

What's wrong with fighting for "wages and benefits" while CEO's are continously fighting to make you [as a worker] cheaper ?
And why do you think jobs are becoming scarce ? sign of times ? fate ? ... how about the increase of productivity at any cost implemented by the corporations who don't know the word "morality". They actually want you to think the way you do in order to erradicate any resistance to the achievement of their agenda. And this is happening right now under our nose.

So the fight is permanent. CEO's job is to slash your standard of living and they are very good at it, don't get mistaken. The only way to thwart their agenda is to gather together as groups so that meaningful powers can be set up to efficiently fight their powerful and sly methods that result in violence in people's life.
Stay on your own ? That's just what they want so they can easily crush you

kmaker
27th May 2011, 01:35 AM
This trans-Atlantic union basher didn't mention corporate greed because it was assumed. Corporate greed is in every company, whether unionized or not.

And let me clarify one other thing...I am talking about present day unions.

I don't think that any company has the right to cut people's pay unless they are cutting their hours/responsibilities. And I cannot think of any examples here of lowering wages.

Labour laws are written into law in most countries now. We have several bodies that protect employees in Canada, and complaints can be brought to these places while you are still working there. If you are wrongfully terminated, there are laws here as well to ensure that you are fairly treated and/or compensated.

Unions bring the "us against them" mentality. Employees feel like, as a group, they can get what they want from their employers, and will use bullying tactics (i.e. strikes, etc.) to do it, no matter who or how many are inconvenienced. Its all about the members...and why not, that's what the union bosses have been preaching to them the whole time (besides "its us against them"). And that's why they have to pay their dues (the union bosses have their members best interests in mind, but only if they pay them).

Union members here are paid VERY well, and yet still insist that they need raises, and damn good ones, every year. Problem is, unrealistic wages (coupled with corporate greed) encourage employers to reduce workers or outsource the work.

I agree that the top executives at alot of companies have been greedy...but so have union members. As I mentioned, most strikes from unions now are about wages and benefits...this coming from people who already make good money and have good benefits. And let's face it, jobs are becoming redundant, whether you're unionized or not. Sucks, but its reality. Job security, as nice as it would be, is not realistic anymore. No one can guarantee anyone has a job...its a sign of the times and the economy. But union members demand job security most times, along with their raises, etc.

And lastly, I know I wouldn't want to be grouped with hundreds of others...I can handle myself and my work issues, and when I do an excellent job, I want to be "recognized" at some stage (whether it be at raise time or reputation wise), not grouped in with all other workers, good and bad. I think the bad workers are able to hide well, and very good workers don't get what they deserve.

I think that union members, as well as top executives, need to join the rest of the world...in reality.

Now, must go...heard there was a sighting of Jimmy Hoffa...

Big differences between here and over there Trish. Trust me. I come from "over there" and my parents had the insight to know that the future was grim for my siblings, not to mention my parents. I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, perhaps laws and rights that we have over here that benefit all of us but it's different definitely.

I think you know that I just left a company that I truly admired. The grass is greener I believe. Anyway, some of it union, some of it not. Many, many of the employees were forced to take pay cuts for the survival of the company years ago and have been without pay raises for many years. Essentially, most of the employees (union or not) are going backwards with compensation for the sake of the survival of the company. Maybe one day I'll write a book because it's a very, very complex situation.

Regardless, you summarized it nicely from over here. It's different over there though...we're pretty fortunate.

TiciaBlovesUB
27th May 2011, 04:31 AM
JB, you are just a wealth of knowledge (or wind). I love that about you. I have to say, though, I sure wish there were 'Cliff Notes' .:kiss:

mrClaypole
27th May 2011, 09:43 AM
your repeating yourself trish.

maybe that is the case in canada. But it certainly isn't the case in any other advanced, industrialized country. except for the ones that still have strong unions like the scanwegian region.

a reduction in the standard of living is on the agenda in most western countries, including most of europe and america. it's been part of the news agenda for nearly two years. 'Liberal' employment laws have been applied across the board. and by liberal i mean employment laws that favor the emploYER not the emploYEE.
this pattern has been repeated across the globe as 'credit rating agencies' force governments into cutting services and wages. These 'credit rating agencies' are, coincidentally, the same financiers that approved the selling of toxic debt which eventually led to the financial meltdown. financiers that have been paying themselves bigger and bigger salaries despite the desperate situation they have created.

i suppose it's possible that canada is so progressive that the bosses and the legal system are all that is needed to look after the interests of the workers. thus doing away with the need for those pesky unions. but it certainly is not the case in any other country i am aware of.

what I suspect is that canada is bringing in draconian measures to cut their deficit, like every other advanced industrialized country in the world. Cutting public services and swelling the ranks of the unemployed to reduce a deficit that was created by bailing out the banks to the tune of hundreds of billions.

from this perspective your animosity towards the unions is irrational.

the fact is, the elite have bankrupted the whole world. And it's now down to average joe to bail them out.

if you don't recognize that, then you are in denial.



Beautiful post J.B, Ive been trying to say that on several posts here in the past but never quite got there.

Its a sick state of affairs when false money is printed to fuel a credit boom that gets the average man on the street into debt, then that false money is taken away in a so called "crisis", so the government has to print more false money that they bill to the tax payer who are suffering without any money that has been withdrawn from them. The government come on TV and talk about needing to bring in austerity measures to pay of the "debt".
So taxes go up, bosses see it as an excuse to cut hours, pay or freeze wage increases, meanwhile the average waged worker is treated more like a slave having to work harder and longer for less - if they can get a job at all.
So yes unions are a good thing in my eyes as they regulate greedy bosses behaviour. Just remember that we didnt cause this banking "mess", so why should we be paying for it?, why are we still worried about paying for food to live when the bankers are driving around in luxury cars and wiping their arses on our money.

Meanwhile the bankrupt government manage to find another billion pounds to go and attack another country........

Its amazing how money is always found for war.

JB40
27th May 2011, 09:51 AM
yes mr C. that amazes me too.

that dumb teabagger on another thread is saying 'who will pay back the money that Obama is spending on welfare?'

but the reason america is bankrupt is a combination of the financial crisis and the iraq war.

when clinton left office the was a one trillion SURPLUS.

after bush's first term they had gone two trillion into the red.

that was because of the iraq war debacle and tax give-aways to the richest 10%

but the teabaggers don't seem to mind giving more money to the rich, and spending trillions bombing arabs.

they just don't want there money spent on trivial stuff like education and health.

always find some money to make bombs though.

mrClaypole
27th May 2011, 12:18 PM
Too true.

and this is off topic but relating to why countries find money for war.

Heres whats eating me up at the moment. My brother is serving as a T.A in Afghanistan and he says that all his division are doing is protecting the harvesting of Poppies by the locals. Now one of the excuses for the war was that they were trying to stem the flow of heroin production, so my major bugbear is, why are they protecting the harvesting of the major raw ingredient?.

Theres something fishy going on in the middle east.

Opium production in Afghanistan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan)


Now some people have stated in the past that the Vietnam war was a major exercise in shifting drugs around the world undercover, even using the hollowed out bodies of fallen soldiers to transport the stuff back to the U.S, could it be that the story about the oil snatching was a red herring and that Osama was too?.

These are questions that need answering...........


I feel I may have strolled into contraversial waters again.

http://socyberty.com/economics/u-s-banks-launder-drug-money-atf-supplies-guns-and-the-cia-supplies-drugs/

JB40
27th May 2011, 01:22 PM
if you remember a few years back gnl oliver north was jailed after it was exposed that he had brokered a deal exchanging cocaine for guns to arm terrorists in an attempted coup to oust a democratically elected government.

this is all part of US foriegn policy.

mrClaypole
27th May 2011, 01:29 PM
if you remember a few years back gnl oliver north was jailed after it was exposed that he had brokered a deal exchanging cocaine for guns to arm terrorists in an attempted coup to oust a democratically elected government.

this is all part of US foriegn policy.


I forgot about that.......yes he mustve tried to cream off abit of the profits and was no longer playing the game thats why he was convicted.

god bless Uncle Sam.

Kodiak
27th May 2011, 04:43 PM
Big differences between here and over there Trish. Trust me. I come from "over there" and my parents had the insight to know that the future was grim for my siblings, not to mention my parents. I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, perhaps laws and rights that we have over here that benefit all of us but it's different definitely.

I think you know that I just left a company that I truly admired. The grass is greener I believe. Anyway, some of it union, some of it not. Many, many of the employees were forced to take pay cuts for the survival of the company years ago and have been without pay raises for many years. Essentially, most of the employees (union or not) are going backwards with compensation for the sake of the survival of the company. Maybe one day I'll write a book because it's a very, very complex situation.

Regardless, you summarized it nicely from over here. It's different over there though...we're pretty fortunate.


Thanks for that Paul. I was getting frustrated because, although I have a strong overall opinion about our unions, I couldn't image how so many smart people could be sucked into our unions' idealisms 110%. Turns out we're talking about two completely different styles of unions...and workforces altogether. I'm glad someone was understanding my babble. And yes, I guess we truly do have it good here, unionized and non-unionized.

kmaker
28th May 2011, 05:02 AM
yep, respect T. Not babble at all, well educated and informative as usual fellow canuck. And you work with the law makers???:banghead::banghead::banghead:....don't know how you do it but thankful you do.:wink:...can you do anything about lowering the fees?
P