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wsn03

I'm starting to side with the unions....what the...!?!?

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I grew up in the 1970s, when the unions really did go out of their way to bring industry to its knees - most of those lazy boomers are now living off the generous pension they're entitled to too, for all their years spent wrecking our economy. My Dad was born in 1913, he was always very depressed about the way the country went downhill, and put the blame on the rise of the far left. I voted Conservative for every election bar one...I abstained when Blair came to power thinking maybe he wasn't a self-serving t0sser.

I hate unions as a rule, not helped by the fact that every union steward I've ever met has been just another moaning a55hole.

This morning I listened to Radio 4s talk of this winter of discontent.

  • The postal workers - well I don't want local post offices to close, I will be old in a village one day and I'll need stuff like that
  • The train drivers - I like train guards, nobody driving a train is going to manage the passengers, I have no doubt this is where the train companies are heading to with this agenda
  • BA - how is it fair that those joining more recently aren't entitled to the same pay as those who joined before - that really p1sses me off?
  • London Underground - I don't want ticket offices closing, sick of dealing with machines, they don't answer questions very well
  • Virgin pilots - why shouldn't they be allowed union membership (I think that's what its about)?

For the first time in my life I'm on the side of the unions. This must be a reflection of what complete b@stards companies have become, who if, given the chance, would strip away the rights of every employee putting us all on zero hours contracts, whilst providing us with a bare and basic service.

I work for myself btw, but that's because I never want to be at the mercy of an employer ever again.

Anyone else have empathy for the unions? Am I being a bit deluded? Interested to know thoughts of HPCers.

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I agree. By and large the younger you are (1) the greater the economic burden you are expected to shoulder and (2) the less you get in return, simple stuff like aspiring to own a home. 

 

Cameron's courting of the votes of the rich and old came at a price.

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1 minute ago, wsn03 said:

I grew up in the 1970s, when the unions really did go out of their way to bring industry to its knees - most of those lazy boomers are now living off the generous pension they're entitled to too, for all their years spent wrecking our economy. My Dad was born in 1913, he was always very depressed about the way the country went downhill, and put the blame on the rise of the far left. I voted Conservative for every election bar one...I abstained when Blair came to power thinking maybe he wasn't a self-serving t0sser.

I hate unions as a rule, not helped by the fact that every union steward I've ever met has been just another moaning a55hole.

This morning I listened to Radio 4s talk of this winter of discontent.

  • The postal workers - well I don't want local post offices to close, I will be old in a village one day and I'll need stuff like that
  • The train drivers - I like train guards, nobody driving a train is going to manage the passengers, I have no doubt this is where the train companies are heading too
  • BA - how is it fair that those joining more recently aren't entitled to the same pay as those who joined before - that really p1sses me off
  • London Underground - I don't want ticket offices closing, sick of dealing with machines, they don't answer questions very well
  • Virgin pilots - why shouldn't they be allowed union membership (I think that's what its about)

For the first time in my life I'm on the side of the unions. This must be a reflection on what complete b@stards companies have become, who if, given the chance, would strip away the rights of every employee putting us all on zero hours contracts, whilst providing us with a bare and basic service.

I work for myself btw, but that's because I never want to be at the mercy of an employer ever again.

Anyone else have empathy for the unions? Am I being a bit deluded? Interested to know thoughts of HPCers.

Afaict there really is a class war and the war is over the size of the slice of cake each side gets.  So, the more that those in charge of means of production get, the less there is for workers.  We have seen this redistribution through the moving up of the retirement age, stagnant wages, zero hour contracts, the gig economy, large numbers of youth employment, offshoring of jobs etc.  The trade unions are there to give balance to the system and it is no surprise that as the strength of unions and collective bargaining has wained, so has ordinary people's working conditions. 

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What we needs is more market intervention by the government to sort out the problems caused by the governments fixed market interventions.

Have you noticed, it's the service industry that are starting to get ar*ey.

I can live without a train/holiday/Christmas card. Can they live without food ?

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Just now, One-percent said:

Afaict there really is a class war and the war is over the size of the slice of cake each side gets.  So, the more that those in charge of means of production get, the less there is for workers.  We have seen this redistribution through the moving up of the retirement age, stagnant wages, zero hour contracts, the gig economy, large numbers of youth employment, offshoring of jobs etc.  The trade unions are there to give balance to the system and it is no surprise that as the strength of unions and collective bargaining has wained, so has ordinary people's working conditions. 

It's really about the bankers and their housing bubble...98% of the 99% just dont know it yet

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I agree - but I've always been on the side of the unions. When it works best, you have a genuine partnership between union and management to solve problems. 

There was some real crappy behaviour in the 70s eg closed shops, BBC electricians not allowed to move scenery etc. But nothing compared the behaviour of management before or since - and a lot of it was overblown. Fact is the boomers weren't wrong to demand high standards, good pay and decent pensions - it's what the rest of us should be getting as well. There's plenty of wealth kicking around the world - just unequally shared.  

I'm not some kumbaya type, but the balance is clearly wrong at the moment. 

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1 minute ago, TheCountOfNowhere said:

It's really about the bankers and their housing bubble...98% of the 99% just dont know it yet

Partly, it's also about the rising gap between rich and poor.  It's not just the bankers making out like bandits at the expense of the rest of us 

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2 minutes ago, StainlessSteelCat said:

I agree - but I've always been on the side of the unions. When it works best, you have a genuine partnership between union and management to solve problems. 

There was some real crappy behaviour in the 70s eg closed shops, BBC electricians not allowed to move scenery etc. But nothing compared the behaviour of management before or since - and a lot of it was overblown. Fact is the boomers weren't wrong to demand high standards, good pay and decent pensions - it's what the rest of us should be getting as well. There's plenty of wealth kicking around the world - just unequally shared.  

Nailed it SSC. 

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Never been a fan of the unions either TBH, they made a significant contribution to the economic woes of the 1970's & early 80's for sure and Thatcher's attack on them made absolute sense. Thirty odd years later and its hard to avoid the conclusion that the pendulum has swung too far the opposite way and the system no longer serves the interests of most workers. 

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6 minutes ago, StainlessSteelCat said:

I agree - but I've always been on the side of the unions. When it works best, you have a genuine partnership between union and management to solve problems. 

There was some real crappy behaviour in the 70s eg closed shops, BBC electricians not allowed to move scenery etc. But nothing compared the behaviour of management before or since - and a lot of it was overblown. Fact is the boomers weren't wrong to demand high standards, good pay and decent pensions - it's what the rest of us should be getting as well. There's plenty of wealth kicking around the world - just unequally shared.  

I'm not some kumbaya type, but the balance is clearly wrong at the moment. 

Some are, some are not.

In the end, the steel union on boro is well thought of. The management and union appear to get on well there.

Not sure about the train one - or some of the train ones. Trais are not that far from moving to almost full automation.

Agree with the mcomment about management - and A large part of my job is managing/overseeing stuff - some companies have took the p1ss.

Its not only a bolshoi workforce that is the outcome mind. There are some companies that are teetering on going under as they have fcked themselves over.

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Welcome to the softie left :-)

ironically many of the points being striked about are in fact 'conservative' in trying to protect the way things are or were in face of race to the bottom style change.

I imagine people caught between soaring asset prices on one side, and the race to the bottom on the other, there is likely a lot of anger out there.  I seem to be fairly irrationally angry about crazy house prices and a spivy economy and I will probably come out of it alright (eventually) - but it's tough out there, doubly so if you are on an average salary and your employer is a shit. 

(disclaimer, I don't know if Royal Mail, BA et all are good or bad, but clearly there is a lot of miffed off ness out there)

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The post office dispute is partly about pensions.

The southern rail is about who gets to close the doors.

Lord knows what the pilots and baggage handlers are striking about but as air travel is really bad for the planet then I don't care.
 

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1 minute ago, SarahBell said:

The post office dispute is partly about pensions.

The southern rail is about who gets to close the doors.

Lord knows what the pilots and baggage handlers are striking about but as air travel is really bad for the planet then I don't care.
 

Is it about getting paid more because they'll have to close the door ?

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27 minutes ago, One-percent said:

Partly, it's also about the rising gap between rich and poor.  It's not just the bankers making out like bandits at the expense of the rest of us 

Granted.  

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I think people are now getting desperate, being a train guard is now considered a high quality job, that needs defending at all cost.  If a guard is so important, why not let a computer do the driving, and let the driver be the guard.  Also you have ask, why overground trains needs a guard, but London underground trains don't.

 

I do take the point, of having absolutely no one to ask questions at a station, sometimes it is not even possible to ask the machine the question, let alone get an answer.

 

One other point, people are so cost conscious that they always go for the lowest cost.  It is easy to say the post office/parcel force should do this and that for its workers, but you know that if a new entrant competor with none of these costs and a low price comes in, then most people will use that, rather than parcel force which treats its workers a bit better but is more expensive.

 

RE British Airways, they used to offer a quality service out of Birmingham airport to most European destinations.  The service cost more then budget airlines, but was much better, I really liked it.  I must have been one of the few, because they dropped the service with other national flag carriers and budget airlines taking over.

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2 minutes ago, TheCountOfNowhere said:

Is it about getting paid more because they'll have to close the door ?

I don't know. It might be the driver can now close the door but doens't get the pay upgrade for doing it, and that means they don't need guards anymore.

Merseyrail are looking at replacing their railstock to ones that don't need a guard anymore. Expect strikes.

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10 minutes ago, SarahBell said:

The southern rail is about who gets to close the doors.
 

No it isn't. It is about safety. A Guard should be on every train by law, to deal with safety issues and passenger issues as they arise. The Driver (obviously) can't deal with anything other than driving.

Asking for trains without Guards is the same as asking for planes without any cabin crew and just one pilot in the front. When an emergency happens you have 1,000 people who need assistance and the Driver/pilot will not be able to do it.

Guards should be a legal requirement of train operation. I see no way around this until we have actual cyborg human replacement guards who can do the same job.

And, for the record, I don't like trains (they are run badly) and have no interest in guards or trains generally.

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3 minutes ago, Errol said:

No it isn't. It is about safety. A Guard should be on every train by law, to deal with safety issues and passenger issues as they arise. The Driver (obviously) can't deal with anything other than driving.

Asking for trains without Guards is the same as asking for planes without any cabin crew and just one pilot in the front. When an emergency happens you have 1,000 people who need assistance and the Driver/pilot will not be able to do it.

When it boils down to a decision, retired boomers perks take precedence over everybody else safety. This is how it looks to me.

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2 minutes ago, Si1 said:

When it boils down to a decision, retired boomers perks take precedence over everybody else safety. This is how it looks to me.

How many people have died because of the lack of a guard on a train? 

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I have to reply reference a couple of comments:

- I disagree about not needing guards, eg.  the Underground.  I once had to run to the front of an underground to stop a train driving off with a Mother trapped inside whilst her young child was on the platform - all the passengers on the platform waving frantically to stop it. A guard would have spotted that. I've also been on an underground where I had to protect 6 women from a very deranged man until I reached a station...that shouldn't be my job, there should be a guard on-board all trains - God knows what its like travelling on late night trains.

- Parcel companies competing with the standard mail service are great, cheap as chips, just like Chinese goods. Now, however, I'm waking up to the flaws...like with Chinese goods the product is sh1t (parcels left on my doorstep for the whole world to see and walk off with, drivers on crap contracts on crap wages), and knowing that I'd rather not use it.

- BA used to be a quality airline, since its takeover (sorry merger) its been in a race to the bottom.

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2 minutes ago, SarahBell said:

How many people have died because of the lack of a guard on a train? 

Look back over all the train disasters in this country. Guards have played a vital role in each and every one. The same way as cabin crew play a vital role in aircraft issues.

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9 minutes ago, SarahBell said:

How many people have died because of the lack of a guard on a train? 

I could have died quite easily when I had to protect those women, the guy was clearly nuts and was going to do something. Its only when I told him I would put him in hospital that he backed away, and was taken away by the police when alerted at the next station. I'm a martial arts expert, so I was lucky, he must have known it by the fact that I wasn't scared and I was giving him that sinister look. That's not good enough, if I hadn't been there what would have happened. Press a red button to stop the train? And? I've seen train guards on many services defuse some very sticky situations very quickly, they just know how to do it. Gives me confidence.

What happens to the money saved from not having guards? If you think it reduces fares you're dreaming. It probably goes into Executive bonuses.

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So Theresa May said she wanted companies to publish the ratio of pay between the chief executive to the average employee. Is she actually going to do this or was this just another fart in the wind.

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2 minutes ago, mathschoc said:

So Theresa May said she wanted companies to publish the ratio of pay between the chief executive to the average employee. Is she actually going to do this or was this just another fart in the wind.

She changed on her promise to get trade union representation at Board Level, so I'm not hopeful of any of her intentions sadly. I really started out thinking she was the one for the job, shame.

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100% agree. In the abscence of meritocracy, unions have a place. As I just posted on another thread, if you work in an office where pay secrecy is a thing, either you are being screwed or the person next to you is. 

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