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BECAUSE TRADE UNIONS ARE ON THE SIDE OF THE WORKING MAN, RIGHT?

By Pete Moore On July 19th, 2012

Good old trade unions, they’re always ready to screw someone else, and when Trotskyite headbanger Mark Serwotka is in charge of the union you can be sure alot of victims will be getting some industrial action good and hard:

Daily Telegraph: Border force staff to walk out ahead of Olympics

The union representing thousands of immigration staff is to walk out the day before the Olympics’ opening ceremony, despite securing the support of little more than 10 per cent of its membership […] Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union will strike next Thursday, Heathrow’s busiest day of the year, with the airport expecting to receive 126,000 passengers, 19,000 more than normal during the summer.

I’ve never really been up for banning trade unions, what with me supporting free association and all that. The corollory is the right to not associate, which I heartily encourage all decent people to do where trade unions are concerned. I’d particularly encourage everyone in productive work to shun and exclude the leader of the PCS wherever he is seen. If he comes into your shop, your business, your cab etc, withdraw your labour.

24 Responses to “BECAUSE TRADE UNIONS ARE ON THE SIDE OF THE WORKING MAN, RIGHT?”

  1. Serwotka is a committed Marxist, now a member of Respect. I wonder will Galloway join him on the picket line?

  2. This is a strike against the nation, designed to extort cash at a time when the country is trying to pull off a major, complex world event.

    It should be dealt with accordingly. PATCO comes to mind.

  3. The workers united will never be defeated.

  4. The 90% who didn’t vote for this have already been defeated by the union.

  5. Capitalism is a disgusting, diseased system. Strike at it’s heart I say.

  6. Except for all the others.

  7. Which system ( that exists ) is better than capitalism?

    I have zero interest in textbook utopias of whatever stripe.

  8. Phantom

    The 90% who didn’t vote for this will probably not go on strike. I bet the strike will be a washout.

  9. As I said to a comrade the other day; the unions need to become more radical, not less.

  10. You said that capitalism is terrible.

    So what system that exists is better than it?

  11. Petr, what will it achieve?

  12. That exists? We don’t like what exists, that’s why we want revolution to bring about a radical alternative that puts people first. I call that revolutionary socialism.

  13. And how would you bring that about Petr?

  14. “I’ve never really been up for banning trade unions, what with me supporting free association and all that. ”

    Free association yes, monopolies and cartels and price-fixing no.

    I don’t see why unions should be exempt from anti-trust and competition law if they would otherwise be breaking it.

  15. Especially when they strike against all the public.

    Public service unions should not have the same right to strike as say the union at some bakery.

    I don’t know how it works there, but this type of strike is unthinkable.

  16. I would disagree with that Phantom. How do public sector unions protect their members terms and conditions if you take away what is basically the only bullet in their gun?

  17. They have the power of the ballot box.

    And the leverage of the court of public opinion.

    And the government agency needs to attract good workers in a competitive labor market.

    There is a lot of leverage apart from the strike weapon. Arbitration provisions can be considered that make pay equal to private sector equivalent.

    The strike is a crude weapon that destroys. It should be allowed, but never for critical public services.

  18. Less than 10% of the population work in the public sector and are geographically dispersed so they don’t exactly have a huge bloc with which to effect change at the ballot box. Additionally public opinion is normally against public sector workers.

    So the majority of the ways you mention to protect their terms and conditions aren’t actually there. The fact is that if those public services are that critical then the government would be maintaining the wages and conditions of the workers and they wouldn’t need to strike.

  19. Seamus,

    “The fact is that if those public services are that critical then the government would be maintaining the wages and conditions of the workers and they wouldn’t need to strike.’

    That they are already paid above the norm, for what usual amounts to little more than manual labour, seems not to matter to you. You prefer to subscribe to the idea of a mafia style protectionism, where bullying and threats are the order of the day.

    It matters little what numbers are involved, sabotage, for that is what it is, is more of a strategic tactic than one of numbers.

    As for your comment that ‘less than 10%’ work in the public sector, I think your definition of the public sector is rather narrow and restricted, I think you might find the number is closer to 50%…

  20. Petr

    Still waiting…

  21. What are you waiting for, Phantom?

  22. You moan and groan about ” capitalism ”

    Name a better system that actually exists in say US / UK / EU.

    Or, to be more flexible, one that has existed in the past 100 years.

    Utopias in a text don’t count as anything. What’s a better system?

  23. Why does it have to exist? Look, capitalism in a human invention that came along fairly recently, benefited some but destroyed others. It’ll most likely be replaced at some point, I’d like to hasten it’s demise in whatever way I can.

    As for the alternative; that will be decided discursively and democratically. It would totally undemocratic of me to come along with a blueprint and say this is how it must be, other than to say it must be democratic and it must be emancipatory.

  24. OK

    So like our extreme libertarian friends, you have no examples of countries which exist that are materially better than the mixed capitalist models of the US, UK, Germany, Korea, etc.

    Well, we all knew that, but at least we’ve formalized it.

    Real world capitalism has improved the lot of many hundreds of millions of people across all of North America, Europe, Australasia and much of Asia and South America. Everyone here probably has a vastly higher standard of living than their grandparents did. I know that I do. Much greater political and social rights too, but that is something that comes with capitalism.

    Many of the remaining poor countries will benefit by more ( mixed ) capitalism, which is the only way to develop. There’s no real capitalism in places like Pakistan, Egypt, much of Africa, Cuba, North Korea, etc. Its never been tried in most of the world. If you want to live like Germans or Americans, steal their ideas and their economic system and see what happens.