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Previous Next Up Topic Other Boards / Foo / Strikes - do you have to do them?
By Tracey123 (***) [gb] Date 30.09.11 14:34 GMT
I am in the union that is striking on the 30th November, I dont particularly want to strike, Wednesday is my busiest day....do you have to strike if you are in the union??
By Freewayz (**) [gb] Date 30.09.11 14:45 GMT
My hubby works for the post office and never joined in on the strikes. He wasn't looked kindly upon by his workmates however they seem ok about it now..I know it doesn't answer your question...but he is still in the union and still working so it wasn't detrimental in anyway long term.
tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito
By LJS (****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 15:14 GMT
No you have a choice to join or not.

You may get some grief if you pass through the picket line but they should be monitored to make sure people are not intimated.
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 15:16 GMT
Though morally if you belong to a Union and the membership take a vote you should abide by the majority decision.  I would think it wrong to cross my Unions picket line.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By LJS (****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 15:24 GMT
I disagree as if you have a fundemental disagreement to why the strike has been called then you should stand up for what you believe in.

Strikes to me are disruptive , hurt innocent people and rarely make a difference as negotiation is the key to get thongs resolved.

I guess this is to do with the cuts in the public sector and although very hard on many people it is something that has to happen.

The world is in economic crisis and strikes are pointless in the scale of the problem I personally think.
By Daisy (****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 15:34 GMT Edited 30.09.11 15:36 GMT

> Strikes to me are disruptive , hurt innocent people and rarely make a difference as negotiation is the key to get thongs resolved.


Agree. Although they have been some instances when I have thought they were justified - but many years ago when there was little legislation - eg equality of women. What really annoys me is that unions often call strikes when a company/organisation is in financial difficulties - they just don't seem to understand that they will just make the position of their workforce worse :-( However, everyone has the right to strike, I just doubt whether some people really understand the consequences of doing so :-(

(I have been in a union, many years ago, although we never went on strike, thankfully, as I probably would have felt as the OP)
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life
Churchill
By PennyGC (***) [gb] Date 30.09.11 16:01 GMT
If you are in the union and your fellow members vote to go on strike you should also go on strike - that's democracy.  Personally I've been in a union all my working life (public sector) and have gone on strike on the few occasions the members felt it was appropriate and necessary.  In a union or not I wouldn't cross a picket line.  If you feel that you do not wish to join in the strike my feeling is that you should leave the union - or do you just want other people to fight (and lose pay) for rights and benefits which you are happy to accept but not happy to seek?
Agility is fun
By LJS (****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 16:08 GMT
Unions have a wider remit and so they are there to protect both the individual as well as the wider context.

I think if you truely believe that the strike is wrong then you have the right and freedom by not agreeing to strike, that is democracy :-)
By St.Domingo (***) [gb] Date 30.09.11 18:46 GMT

> If you are in the union and your fellow members vote to go on strike you should also go on strike - that's democracy.


I thought democracy was giving everyone an equal say, not making people do what they don't want to do.
By penfold (**) [gb] Date 30.09.11 20:34 GMT
I would never cross my picket line but I appreciate that some people can't afford to strike so would not hold it against someone.  However, I do believe 100% that strikes are necessary and do force concessions which would never, ever have been granted otherwise. 

My part of the public sector has had our terms and conditions of employment under constant attack for the last 4-5yrs now and I'm truly sick to the back teeth of it.  However, I do believe that the intial proposals put forward by government are always so outrageous as to allow room to meet the union in the middle for a compromise.  Haggling basically.  Start high, meet in the middle. 
By LJS (****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 21:15 GMT
So you have made a choice to stay in the public sector.

That is want annoys me as it is a choice not a right :-)
By Jeangenie (*****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 21:24 GMT
In my experience unions are as much use as a chocolate teapot when it comes to supporting members with employer problems (full of sympathy but no actual help, despite taking 30+ years of contributions), so I'd never go on strike if I wasn't 100% committed to the cause.
A closed mouth gathers no feet
By Pinky (***) Date 30.09.11 21:37 GMT
By law you do not have to strike.

If it's an official union strike then you should support the membership, after all you joined the membership, if you do not wish to strike then leave the membership as you are not willing to support the vote of the membership.

If you cross a picket line you could cause a lot of ill feeling amoungst other union members as they will see it as you possibly benefiting from their hardship and struuggle without doing anything.

I would never cross a picket line nor would I join a union if I was not prepared to cross a picket line if the union decided it so.
A sandwich needs dog hair
By Jeangenie (*****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 21:40 GMT

>If it's an official union strike then you should support the membership, after all you joined the membership,


That's the same as saying that if you've voted in an election then you have to support the government that was voted in!
A closed mouth gathers no feet
By dogs a babe (****) [gb] Date 30.09.11 22:31 GMT

> I dont particularly want to strike


I don't believe there is any hard and fast rule - you have to do what you are comfortable with.  Based on the mixed responses you've seen here though I would advise you to think it through quite carefully.  Be sure of what you are supporting if you choose to strike and take the time to think about how you will respond to other union members if you choose to work.

If you are worried, do talk to your management team and a union representative to ensure you get the facts you need to make an informed decision.  Good luck with whatever you decide :-)
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see ~Mark Twain
By penfold (**) [gb] Date 01.10.11 07:42 GMT

> xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">So you have made a choice to stay in the public sector.<br /><br />That is want annoys me as it is a choice not a right


Yes, I have made a choice to stay in the PS as in the rural part of the country where I stay there is not much other alternative employment and it is a job I enjoy doing and, in my opinion, am good at.  Personally I prefer to stay and try to fight to retain my existing t&c's than to simply give up and leave.  If everyone simply moved out of the PS when faced with government 'reforms' rather than oppose them, we would be faced with a rather scary race to the bottom and a pretty devalued service.  

  
By LJS (****) [gb] Date 01.10.11 08:48 GMT
So a question for you :-)

Do you think there are inefficiencies in the PS and if yes how so you think they should be tackled ?

I am not questioning that there are a lot of people in the PS that do a good job but there are too many people in the PS which is the problem because of inefficient systems and processes. Target that and the services would remain the same and in s lot if cases improve.
By Daisy (****) [gb] Date 01.10.11 10:28 GMT
I just hope that trade unions in the public sector have chamged since I worked there 20+ years ago :-( The union officials where I worked (6 different offices in 10 years) were, to a man, those who had never progressed very far up the ladder and had huge chips on their shoulders :-( The first place that I worked, as an 18 year old trainee, the union official walked around the office distributing the union newsletter and always made a point of saying to me 'You can't have one as you aren't in the union' - he had never asked me to join :-( When I changed offices, the union rep there at least had the decency to ask me to join and gave me his reasons for doing so (virtually everyone was in one of the two unions) and so I joined out of politeness, although I didn't really agree with their policies :-) The good point was that when the offices closed ( happened to me 5 times in 10 years), the unions negotiated the redundancies/relocation expenses - that they were good at (although the terms may have been the same anyway LOL). They didn't oppose the redundancies - thankfully, so no strikes :-)
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life
Churchill
By Pinky (***) Date 01.10.11 20:00 GMT
No it isn't, I'd only support the government that was voted in if they came from the party that I had voted for.
A sandwich needs dog hair
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 01.10.11 20:01 GMT
but you have to abide by the laws and policies of the government that was voted in.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By Pinky (***) Date 01.10.11 20:09 GMT
True I do, even if I don't agree with them because I didn't vote for them.
A sandwich needs dog hair
By perrodeagua (****) [gb] Date 02.10.11 09:22 GMT
Sadly I don't think strikes will do anything.  The government has already decided to run down the NHS with these new rules that they want in place because let's face it they mainly want it to become private.  I will be more than three thousand a year down and can only just afford my mortgage etc. now.

This Condemn Party really has it in for us. 
If I wanted a Poodle, OES, TT or IWS I would have bought one. SWD's shd. be natural and rustic. No
By PennyGC (***) [gb] Date 02.10.11 09:30 GMT
I thought democracy was giving everyone an equal say, not making people do what they don't want to do.

Democracy is giving people an equal say (voting) and then the majority decision is implemented.... it's not right to have your vote, decide you don't like what the decision was and remain in the organisation.  Very few people WANT to strike - but once the decision is made then all members should adhere to it.  Otherwise it's not democracy but anarchy.  If you don't like what's decided you still have to accept it - that's what democracy is.  Work to change, or leave.  
Agility is fun
By Tracey123 (***) [gb] Date 02.10.11 11:22 GMT
Im not 100% sure what they are striking for.....I believe its something to do with pensions but I couldnt be positive on that.

Im not against striking, if people want to strike thats up to them. I feel more for my patients who ring up with queries that wont be answered and clinic letters that wont get typed because Im not there. Noone will pick my work up if Im not there so it will just be left till I get back which can be dangerous. (i,e, what if an urgent result comes through?!)

I may find an alternative entrance into the hospital! ;-)
By penfold (**) [gb] Date 02.10.11 12:37 GMT

>Im not 100% sure what they are striking for.....I believe its something to do with pensions but I couldnt be positive on that


....so how do you know you don't want/need to strike then?

Please look into it or speak to your local unite rep (as it sounds like you are NHS, like my hubby) pension conts are going to increase subtantially and many, such as myself, are seeing this is the final straw and it shall place them in financial dire straits (on top of pay freeze - aka pay cuts).   There are also other reforms planned which will impact on the running of the NHS on the whole and from what you are saying it sounds as if you are dedicated to your position.  Even if can's bring yourself to strike then at least you need to know what may well be happening to your pay packet soon.

I do tend to agree with perrodeagua above though, in that the 'reforms' are more ideology driven, using the financial situation of the country as an excuse.   :-(
By Daisy (****) [gb] Date 02.10.11 14:52 GMT Edited 02.10.11 14:56 GMT

> it's not right to have your vote, decide you don't like what the decision was and remain in the organisation.


I understand what you are saying, but unless you go back to making the public sector a closed shop, what do people do ??? If you aren't in a union you still get the benefits/adverse effects of a strike. You would either take a job knowing that you would have to be in a union or you wouldn't even apply in the first place. I'm not sure what that would do to the calibre of employees in the public sector ? Certainly would narrow the pool for prospective employees. Most private companies don't have unions, so many people wouldn't consider the public sector.
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life
Churchill
By PennyGC (***) [gb] Date 02.10.11 15:09 GMT
There's no 'closed shop' it's a choice to join the union or not - not all benefits of being a member are, of course, available to those who choose not to join, but if you are a member and there's a vote to strike you should join in, or leave, it's simple as that.  I don't agree with people who don't choose to join getting any benefits but on the whole the benefits of a fair pay and benefits scheme for all outweighs this.
Agility is fun
By Daisy (****) [gb] Date 02.10.11 15:22 GMT

> There's no 'closed shop' it's a choice to join the union or not


I know - what I was saying was that if you accept a job in the public sector and don't join the union, then you will benefit from any pay/terms that the unions negotiate. So what does someone do who doesn't agree with striking at all ?? If they join the union, they will have to strike even if they don't agree with striking OR they don't join the union ?? The alternative is not to apply for a job in the public sector (or any other company that still is unionised).

I would never strike - doesn't matter what the reason. We have very good legislation these days (compared with the early 1900's and earlier), striking shouldn't be necessary. There are other ways to make one's opinion known.
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life
Churchill
By ali-t (***) [gb] Date 02.10.11 19:21 GMT Edited 02.10.11 19:23 GMT

>Please look into it or speak to your local unite rep (as it sounds like you are NHS, like my hubby) pension conts are going to increase subtantially and many, such as myself, are seeing this is the final straw and it shall place them in financial dire straits (on top of pay freeze - aka pay cuts).   There are also other reforms planned which will impact on the running of the NHS on the whole and from what you are saying it sounds as if you are dedicated to your position.  Even if can's bring yourself to strike then at least you need to know what may well be happening to your pay packet soon.


I also work in the public sector and am currently sitting on the fence about the possible strikes.  My own view is that given the current financial situation across the UK the local authority and doing a great job with the hand they have been given by central government.  I am not particularly politically minded but am struggling to see why disrupting local services at a local government level makes a stand about decisions made at a national level that local government can't change.

I am also grateful that there has not been compulsory redundancies and that this isn't on the horizon.  Although there is significant restructuring, lots of voluntary redundancy and early retirement and I am willing to pay extra into my pension and be some money down each month than be made redundant and lose everything.
The artist formerly known as cheekychow! - with a staffy and a rottie not a chow, but very cheeky!
By luddingtonhall (*) [gb] Date 04.10.11 13:22 GMT
not all benefits of being a member are, of course, available to those who choose not to join, but if you are a member and there's a vote to strike you should join in, or leave, it's simple as that. 

But reasons for joining a union are many and varied.  In a previous employment staff were treated very fairly and the employer did not recognise the union (typical in that industry with an industry specific union).  In essence union membership was pointless apart from one major facet of the membership package - the assistance and legal advice offered in the event of a dismissal, dispute or similar was the only reason many in my industry were union members.  Membership was considered more as a certification protection and legal advice insurance.

I have previously voted against a strike that was to support other workers at a different plant, fortunately that strike never happened but I strongly disagreed with their reasons for striking so I would not have lost a days pay to support them.  In the comparisons drawn to a government above I would have carried out a legal peaceful protest against the democratically elected decision - I would have worked.
By malwhit (*) [gb] Date 05.10.11 21:50 GMT
You do not have to strike if you are in a unon, and I think fewer people will go out this time - most people are already struggling and can't afford to lose another day's wages. I am a public sector worker and have supported strikes up to now. At the present time I am more concerned about paying my ever increasing fuel and food bills than worrying about what my pension will be in 25 years time.

It is wrong that working people who pay tax, NI, etc are being hit hard by the government, but as a country we are still allowing mass migration from Europe. If we did not provide tax credits, benefits, housing, free education and the NHS to everyone who chooses to come here, maybe more could be done to help the existing population survive the recession.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1362451/100k-Eastern-European-migrants-free-claim-UK-benefits-EU-ruling.html
Malcolm
By Stooge (***) [gb] Date 05.10.11 22:08 GMT
I can't believe anyone is still blaming the recession on migration.
http://www.refugee-action.org.uk/information/challengingthemyths2.aspx#top

>Fact: Single asylum seekers in the UK have to survive on 37.77 a week - 30pc below the poverty line - while couples without children and single adults under 25 receive less than 30 a week each.


>There are several EU countries, including Ireland, Belgium and Denmark, which offer more financial support than the UK does. A recent report for the European Commission concluded that "push factors" such as war and repression far outweigh "pull factors" such as economic hardship or Europe's benefits systems in determining why people leave their home countries to seek asylum in the EU

By Daisy (****) [gb] Date 06.10.11 08:40 GMT Edited 06.10.11 08:43 GMT
Interesting that sugar refinery workers near us have voted against strike action:

No to strike

What I find unbelieveable (although typical of some unions' mentality, even in the UK) is that there is another public strike in Greece ?? :-(

Greek Strikes

How they expect the rest of Europe to bail them out when they are still prepared to strike (causing even more loss to the economy) is beyond me - but perhaps it explains how Greece is in such a bad state in the first place :-(
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life
Churchill
By Dakkobear (***) [gb] Date 06.10.11 13:23 GMT

> Im not against striking, if people want to strike thats up to them. I feel more for my patients who ring up with queries that wont be answered and clinic letters that wont get typed because Im not there. Noone will pick my work up if Im not there so it will just be left till I get back which can be dangerous. (i,e, what if an urgent result comes through?!)
>
>


unfortunately your dedication may not be returned by your employer if they decide that you are no longer needed :-(

I have seen this happen to so many people, totally dedicated to their work then dropped like the proverbial hot potato without so much as a thanks when cost cutting comes along.

Find out why there is a strike - you might find that it has more to do with you than you think, then make your decision.
By Daisy (****) [gb] Date 06.10.11 14:26 GMT

> I have seen this happen to so many people, totally dedicated to their work then dropped like the proverbial hot potato without so much as a thanks when cost
> cutting comes along


My son has just lost his job. He works in the pharmaceutical industry and has a PhD from Cambridge after spending seven years at university. He has always been very hard working and dedicated. However, he has taken being made redundant on the chin and accepts it as the result of the shrinking of his industry in this time of recession - just one of those things. His chances of getting a similar job in this country are virtually nil. He will have to be flexible and see if he can get a job doing something different. He certainly doesn't see himself as a 'hot potato' :-) :-) 40% of the workforce have been given notice and the rest will probably follow soon :-(
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life
Churchill
By Dakkobear (***) [gb] Date 06.10.11 15:02 GMT
Daisy I'm sure he is 'hot' if not a 'potato'. Hope he finds something good soon - I've been in the same position myself when the defence industry went down the pan :-(
By Stooge (***) [gb] Date 06.10.11 17:46 GMT

> How they expect the rest of Europe to bail them out when they are still prepared to strike (causing even more loss to the economy) is beyond me - but perhaps it explains how Greece is in such a bad state in the first place


I know it's crazy.  As I understand the situation they are striking because of the austerity measures (although goodness knows how they think the debts can be paid without) meanwhile the European Union is considering expelling them from the Euro because they haven't introduced austerity measures.
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