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Author Topic: The end of strikes (in the UK)
Babbler # 621

posted 24 April 2006 02:49 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Collective failure

The workers at the condemned Peugeot plant at Ryton near Coventry, stupefied by the confirmation of what they had long feared, survey an empty horizon for alternatives to acceptance. Once, at about the time some of the Ryton workers got their first jobs, there would have been no need to think. They would go on strike.

A strike in defence of the Ryton jobs in those far-off days would be supported by car workers across the country. There would be mass demonstrations in sympathy. There would probably be talks at No 10, or at least tea at the Department of Employment (RIP).

In the end, the government would intervene: a contract would be found, a subsidy paid out, jobs would be saved ... until the next time, at least.

This week, the trade union leaders who talked of a strike got little support from the workers. "What's the point," one asked, "they'd only shut us down sooner."

When you know you and 2,300 others are headed for the job centre, there is little appetite for risking the mortgage.

Strikes don't happen any more. In 2004, the last year for which figures are available, there were just 130 stoppages in the whole year.

Catering workers are sacked for refusing to take lower pay. Migrant workers die in one of the most blatant cases of exploitation since the abolition of slavery. The even tenor of Britain's industrial life is undisturbed.

From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 11389

posted 24 April 2006 01:23 PM      Profile for skeptikool        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Organized labor seems to have lost its backbone.

This was to have been the Golden Age when, to live in comfort, we would have found it necessary to seek three or four days of paid employment per week.

I don't see much change until overtime work, unless in emergency situations, is banned for the anti-social act that it is. That is a movement that labor leaders should be leading.

From: Delta BC | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 11389

posted 24 April 2006 10:01 PM      Profile for skeptikool        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From: Delta BC | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 10886

posted 28 April 2006 09:56 PM      Profile for uggghhh        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Even through Canadian workers, tend to strike at the drop of a hat; I also question the function of strike activity will continue to have for today’s unions. I do agree that strikes that have strong organization, communication with the membership, developed alliances, and links to boarder social interests can be effective in challenge the employer’s bargaining position. However, Canadian unions have struggled to link the economic and social interests of their membership to that of the broader community. Lack of union participation and economic conditions have worked to convince workers that challenging our employers and government is too large to over come. As you have posted, workers have lost their focus and anger that has fuelled labour protest within the past. Yet, such radical forms of protest have surfaced through current events. Aboriginal and minorities are becoming a new source for social unrest. These workers tend to be young and have more education than their parents. As a result, their use of protest and strike activity tends to have stronger solidarity. I believe unions are in a period of transition. The practices and ideology of our parents has served its purpose. It is time for unions to move the narrow economic interests of their membership to include the socio-economic interests of the community.
From: toronto | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged

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