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Tories Aiming To Ban Low Turnout Strikes

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Tories announce plans for tough anti-strike laws

Transport Secretary says government will end 'misery for millions' by banning strikes with low turnouts

People can't afford to strike they don't need any more laws, everyone is a compliant debt slave and needs the wages. Everyone must conform to our 0.1% masters.

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Are they going to ban low turnout elections as well?

That's the obvious retort. Their logic is the unions don't have a mandate to act because only a minority voted for those actions.

Go figure!

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The Coalition’s current mandate is based on the votes of less than 39% of the electorate... and if we were to apply the 50% rule to GEs, we’d never get a government at all... [Hurrah!! ] There's another way in which parliamentary, mayoral and council elections are different from strike ballots though and it’s arguably a much more important one than the argument about majorities. Political elections are binding on everyone [unless you decide to emigrate, you have to abide by the laws the new government makes... regardless of how small its percentage of the vote was] strike ballots, on the other hand, are binding on absolutely nobody, ie. if your union votes to strike, you are perfectly free to ignore it. As lots of public sector workers often do of course. There is nothing the union or anyone else can do about it since unions are prevented by law from disciplining members who refuse to go on strike. So there is no need whatsoever for more legal restrictions on strikes. Not that the tories will ever allow common sense to get in the way of a nice eye-catching policy. ^_^

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I guess the trouble is, when they say 'strikes' what they really mean is 'public sector strikes' Thatcher pretty much neutered unionization in the private sector.

I'm hardly a fan of the unions, but its not an issue central government should ever have any right over. Usually.

Your right to join a union or go on strike should be something discussed on an individual basis between employer and employee. Should have nothing to do with government. The trouble is of course, in the public sector, the government is effectively the employer.

Personally, id simply outlaw all public sector unions and be done with it.

Even left wing father of the 'new deal' knew the intractable moral hazard of public sector unionization and how the public sector can be used by governments to buy votes of employees.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/02/18/the-first-blow-against-public-employees/fdr-warned-us-about-public-sector-unions

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Why are the Tories still fighting the Winter of Discontent? 1979 was a very long time ago. I wasn't even born - unions and strikes have been completely irrelevant worries for a long time. Haven't the Tories already won this battle?

Of course the destruction of unions has meant that collective bargaining over pay etc. is now a thing of the past, leading to the last few decades of low wage inflation and cheap labour even as the price of everything else has skyrocketed. Doesn't the government want a functioning economy?

But either way the Tories really are dinosaurs if they're worried about restricting unions even further.

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I don't think unions create power for workers. They are just a mechanism by which the pre-existing power of workers can be efficiently exercised.

In the UK in the 1970s workers had plenty of power whether they were in a union or not. Workers could (and did) walk out of one job on Friday and into another on Monday. The demand for labour gave workers that power, not the unions.

In the UK in the 2010s the situation has reversed. Workers are more desperate for an income stream than companies are for staff. Demand for labour is low. Most workers have very little bargaining power, so there is no role for a union to exercise that power.

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They never put a stop to the collective barganing of politicians' brown envelope lobby, the expenses collective or the lords for the lads/sinecure jobs collective.

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Doesn't the government want a functioning economy?

Apparantly not. That is why, instead of stimulating the real economy by printing money and giving it to the lower median workers who would spend it locally they give it to the banksters and the fat-cat public sector 'managers' who immediately put it into property or tax havens.

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I don't think unions create power for workers. They are just a mechanism by which the pre-existing power of workers can be efficiently exercised.

In the UK in the 1970s workers had plenty of power whether they were in a union or not. Workers could (and did) walk out of one job on Friday and into another on Monday. The demand for labour gave workers that power, not the unions.

In the UK in the 2010s the situation has reversed. Workers are more desperate for an income stream than companies are for staff. Demand for labour is low. Most workers have very little bargaining power, so there is no role for a union to exercise that power.

Agree totally.

In the 1970s far more days were lost to unofficial strikes than official strikes (i.e more were spontaneous walkouts rather than being organized by the union hierarchy). Workers collective bargaining power has historically had far more to do with potential labour scarcity than any legal rights to strike. A strike based on low support in a ballot is unlikely to be effective anyway given current picketing laws mean that any workers who do not support any strike action will still be able to work without fear or hindrance. The Tories going on about union ballots just shows they are a struck record playing tunes that are no longer relevant. I suppose they do it because they are comfortable with this narrative while they increasingly appear incapable of dealing with the real problems that face Britain today.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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Agree totally.

In the 1970s far more days were lost to unofficial strikes than official strikes (i.e more were spontaneous walkouts rather than being organized by the union hierarchy). Workers collective bargaining power has historically had far more to do with potential labour scarcity than any legal rights to strike. A strike based on low support in a ballot is unlikely to be ineffective anyway given current picketing laws mean that workers whodunit support the action will still be able to work without fear or hindrance. The Tories going on about union ballots just shows they are a struck record playing tunes that are no longer relevant. I suppose they do it because they are comfortable with this narrative while they increasingly appear incapable of dealing with the real problems that face Britain today.

I disagree with the sentence I've put in bold. The Conservative Party of 2015 is much more a PR machine than it is a political movement. They've probably done some polling showing that male homeowners aged 50+ who work/worked in the private sector are generally in favour of anti-union measures and that if the Conservatives adopt this policy it will win them more votes in swing constituencies than they will lose. This is how mainstream political parties work now.

The policy itself may look like a stuck record playing tunes that are no longer relevant, but that's because the segment of the electorate it is aimed at is a stuck record playing tunes that are no longer relevant.

You can see the same effect whenever the Conservatives announce proposals to cut benefits for under-25s or under 35s. They do it because there is an electorally significant older population (many of them hypocritically living on old people's benefit the state pension) who like to see governments put the boot into workless young people, not because it will achieve any kind of improvement in the way the nation is run.

Edited by Dorkins

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This is a further cynical move by the Tories to further weaken workers rights and is total hypocrisy given how our electoral system works which affects us far more than public sector unions.

Public sector unions are the last union's to have any sort of power to fight and defend the services and rights in this country. This is about ideology more than votes.

If this becomes law then it's only a matter of time until the 40% goalposts are moved. They have even admitted it themselves. This is in the first instance is all about preventing strike. Withdrawing ones Labour is the only way certain workers can bring about negotiation.Once this is eliminated there is little point of being in a union.

No unions is a Tory aim along with relocating wealth to a minority not the majority.

I hope that the average man will see beyond the smoke screen of eliminating a annoyance to the "hard working families" and see there is more at stake.

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Looks like I've been stitched up then- I agreed with my job share mate to not work next week and do extra days either side, he's going to have the day from heaven supervising the one non-union driver per hour that turns up to work!

TfL have brought this on themselves though, they wrote the contracts with the bus companies and then changed the rules so we can't make money any more. My employer was the best performing in Period 9, we came in only -.09 on the performance targets. What that means is that TfL didn't pay a single bus operator in London their agreed contract price.

My company has demonstrable problems with having enough buses fit for service. We still topped the performance charts because I and my colleagues know what we're about. Without wanting to sound arrogant, if we can't make money no-one can.

New drivers at my company are earning less in absolute GBP terms than I made as a driver in 2008. No wonder that so many of them are useless and/or have a bad attitude.

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The Conservative Party of 2015 is much more a PR machine than it is a political movement. They've probably done some polling showing that male homeowners aged 50+ who work/worked in the private sector are generally in favour of anti-union measures

It is quite forgotten that the old Trade Unions did a lot more than simply negotiate. They were constantly analysing the industry on behalf of the membership . . . monitoring trends, levels of employment and professionalism, assessing threats, the acquisition of skill sets . . . and even in the days before Europe, forging co-production agreements with other countries.

There isn't anything like this today in Government . . . not even like the old DTI, and it's arguably a factor in our manufacturing decline.

I agree largely with Dorkins, but I wonder exactly who they polled. I think the older age groups (50+) have somewhat revised their opinions in hindsight . . . as they have of Thatcherism in general.

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You can see the same effect whenever the Conservatives announce proposals to cut benefits for under-25s or under 35s. They do it because there is an electorally significant older population (many of them hypocritically living on old people's benefit the state pension) who like to see governments put the boot into workless young people, not because it will achieve any kind of improvement in the way the nation is run.

but they are willing for the under 53s to pay the same rate of tax like the over 35s and they call this a democratic fair state.

Edited by crash2006

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Unions can make a difference, but ours are mostly long established so the corruption and subversion has taken hold, just like our political parties.

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