Who was at the TUC 'auserity march' today?

1 to 20 of 117 messages
20/10/2012 at 21:59

I joined the RCN, my trade union, at the march today. It was good to stand up against these austerity cuts. But I don't think it will have much clout with this government. And probably little more if a Labour government came in. We are too much in thrall with the banks and big business.

What do others think?

Edited: 20/10/2012 at 22:02
Tommygun2    pirate
20/10/2012 at 22:08

Do you work in the publc sector then Kathy ?

 

20/10/2012 at 22:10
Think you were wasting your time and my money
20/10/2012 at 22:14

As someone who was a Union person in the early 80s I saw that Unions had become political beasts and have lost their initial purpose. They are now simply self promoting industries in their own right, I don't doubt that ground floor Union men still have passion for their members etc, and they have my admiration, but I'm sorry to say as they rise through the ranks they get swallowed up to become protective of their own little realm and it's sad but we will not see any significant support for Unions in their present form.

20/10/2012 at 22:15
200 thousand, so you weren't that serious ?

I was in Barcelona recently and 2 MiLLION people marched over voting
Tommygun2    pirate
20/10/2012 at 22:17

Yeah but the weather is far more condusive for marching in spain at ths time of year

20/10/2012 at 22:25

I was at work so unable to attend but would have if I'd been off.

Well done Kathy on joining your union - you're one of the people making the difference, there are plenty who hitch a free ride.

I'm a workplace union rep and btw EKGO's image is about 30 years out of date.

20/10/2012 at 22:31

Hey I still work you know, and I see it every day, I just let the Union people go their own merry way, the shopfloor guys are good, but the occasions when you get to meet the area officials it's like spending time with Norman Wisdom

 

20/10/2012 at 22:34

That may be your union but it's not mine!

20/10/2012 at 22:52

Community, and yours?

20/10/2012 at 22:57

NUJ. A small from-the-ground-up outfit, independent, quite unruly and bolshie.

20/10/2012 at 23:01
Bolshie, very good!
20/10/2012 at 23:03

Small will do the trick, good luck with it, don't let the Union "professionals" into the equation.

21/10/2012 at 08:20

I'm sorry you have had a bad experience with your union EKGO. My union, NASUWT (teachers) is moderate and is not affiliated to any political party. The only time you see any of the behaviour you refer to is when they are arguing with the second largest teachers' union, the NUT. You don't have to be self promoting to object to this horrendous government. The last time we had a government this destructive was under Margaret Thatcher (wash my mouth out). She set out to destroy old industry and the unions, and to help the financial sector. Greasy Dave and slime ball George are destroying the public sector and the poor, to help the financial sector. Bit of a recurring theme.

21/10/2012 at 09:13

If you're unhappy with the way your union is run, you can always become a workplace rep and set about changing things. People think that they just pay their dues and the union will do everything on their behalf. But nowadays unions (mine, at least) are more about self-help - you have a problem and the union can support and inform you and point you in the right direction but not necessarily hold your hand.

The old days of Scargill and Red Robbo militancy are long gone. Not yet gone but on its way out unfortunately is the sense of the collective and mutual assistance, being replaced by individualism and selfishness. Thatcher's legacy.

21/10/2012 at 09:41

Unions have their place when individuals need help and they can do some fantastic work on the small scale but extremely important stuff.  In my experience (which admitedly is limited to one union), unions lose their power as they take on the more general issues and can be out of touch with their membership.

The union I am familiar with was telling their members that they should reject the 4% pay rise offered at the start of the recession, because every other union was striking at the time and if they went on strike too then we would get a higher pay out.  The reality was that 4% was a damn good deal at that time, but because the unions rejected it, everyone, whether they were in the union or not, missed out on a pay rise.  The offer was withdrawn and no pay rise happened that year at all.

I'm not bothered about missing out on a pay rise because almost everyone else did at that time too, but I did resent the way that the union encouraged people to vote for a strike when realistically that was not the best option.  An example of what EKGO was talking about, of certain individauls within the union using the organisation to boost their own political agenda.

K80
21/10/2012 at 13:36
EKGO wrote (see)

As someone who was a Union person in the early 80s I saw that Unions had become political beasts and have lost their initial purpose. They are now simply self promoting industries in their own right, I don't doubt that ground floor Union men still have passion for their members etc, and they have my admiration, but I'm sorry to say as they rise through the ranks they get swallowed up to become protective of their own little realm and it's sad but we will not see any significant support for Unions in their present form.

What do you mean a Union person? There's a big difference between being a union member representative and being an employee of the union.

There is little movement up the ranks for the lay activist - merely the opportunity to voluntarily take on more responsibility, or if your Branch is big enough the role of an officer position on the committee for an honorarium.

I represent members in the public service on a daily basis. I can assure you there is no realm for me to be protective of - indeed quite the opposite is true - should I become at risk of redundancy i doubt any senior manager will be fighting to redeploy me into their service.

 

21/10/2012 at 19:57

I can understand why Unions are required. Whether the Unions really exist for their own self interest or truly still represent their members is arguable.

However if we can put aside our prejudices as regards who is to blame for the astonishing debt that the country has and ask do we actually want to pay that debt? If so that is what is happening at present and it will last for sometime yet.

Now what is all this about standing up against austerity cuts. What does that mean?

Do you want pay rises? Where will your employer get the money for your rise? The cost of your 'product' will need to go up and all your fellow 'workers' will need to pay for your pay rise.So everybody gets pay rises and the cost of everything goes up - nobody is any better off.

You want the government to reduce its staff? So we need to pay redundancy payments then jobseekers allowance or lump sum and continuing pensions. You want an increase in various benefits. Pay more money to Local Government to reduce local costs. More money for Policing, Teaching and Hospital Staff. Maybe you want to pay less tax and National Insurance. Actually tax and National Insurance is where the government gets its finances!

Where does your Union tell you that this money should come from? We cannot borrow we owe an astonishing debt as it is. Think of it subjectively if you had debts that even with your tight budgeting it would take years to pay would you really go out and borrow more and think that to be sensible?

 If you think it is not your debt - look at Greece and Spain and you know what U.K. has a debt greater than theirs - if it can happen to those countries don't think it will not happen here. The UK does not have any God given rights. 

Your Union is financed by your subs and that is how it can do things for you. If your Union had to borrow money its members would need to pay that borrowing from increased subs. If the members decided the subs were too high and  wanted to pay less and the Union said O.K. we will just borrow more - what would you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited: 21/10/2012 at 19:58
21/10/2012 at 20:07

I would like a pay rise. But we're told there's no money, by managers who have a bunch of little pocket-lining and tax-avoiding schemes on the go. The money is there, the problem is with the distribution. Which is where unions come in.

On a national scale, we could make a start by persuading Vodaphone, Amazon, Starbucks, Ikea and all the other tax-avoiding megacorporations to pay a fair amount of corporation tax. And a few individuals too. Not vast amounts of tax and certainly not at punitive rates. Just some tax at about the same rate as everyone else pays. That would be nice.

21/10/2012 at 20:17
Amazon, Starbucks and ikea aren't UK registered companies, so why expect them to pay UK taxes ?

I worked for a Swedish company for years, the UK company was almost insolvent as all money went through the parent company back home in Stockholm
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