Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England paul kersey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,439
    Liked
    30 times
    And so we are promised Winter Of Discontent 2. Like many contributors to this forum, I turned 16 during the first Winter and was in the final year of compulsory Schooling.I took my O'levels in the first weeks of the Thatcher government and even passed some!. In the preceding months I lost many weeks of schooling due to various sectors embarking upon Industrial action, who knows I may even have gained better exam results and my life may have been a whole lot better than it has been.From the age of about eight onwards, it seemed as though every winter was beset by strikes, we seemed to have power cuts and various shortages, the three day week, TV off at 10.30pm and where ultimately did all these years of strife lead us ? The Public suffered, those in power did not, the end result was the end of the Labour government and 18 years of Tory rule together with the emasculation of the strongest unions and the death of many industries.

    I beg those now planning to repeat the whole excercise again, to target the Government and those that are responsible for the state that the World is in financially and leave us the people alone, there really is little that we can do and striking may very well cost even more jobs than are ultimately saved.I hope that lessons have been learned from the past, but is it a vain hope?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Ireland jimw1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5,642
    Liked
    396 times
    name='paul kersey' timestamp='1284402938' post='473965']

    there really is little that we can do and striking may very well cost even more jobs than are ultimately saved.I hope that lessons have been learned from the past, but is it a vain hope?


    I too lived through The Thatcher Era Paul I had just started working and clearly remember the Hardship working class people went through'



    sadly withdrawing Labour ie Striking is the Most effective Weapon the Unions and working people have so I think we are in for more of the same' as you rightly say The Powerful Didnt suffer and they will not suffer again......

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    8,865
    Liked
    69 times
    The biggest losers in a strike,are the working class. I also remember the man telling me that,and he was a card carrying Socialist,also he was a union convener,who had a reputation for being a stirrer.



    Ta Ta



    Marky B




  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK Mr Sloane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    12,500
    Liked
    239 times
    I disagree, strike action is most effective weapon the ordinary person has against the ruling classes - yes at times it will effect your fellow members of society but it has proved through out the years the only effective non violent weapon of the working classes. If it did n't work it would have died out years ago. Everyone striking loses out financially but people are prepared to endure for the common good. No it's not an easy option not least for the financial and career penalties that participants suffer but it is sometimes the only viable option.



    I hope other options are found but i fear that industrial action mat be the only way we have of opposing the excesses of this government.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England paul kersey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,439
    Liked
    30 times
    My job within a very small family business is by no means secure, in fact I doubt whether it will survive until Christmas let alone through any Winter. I only draw a wage equal to the minimum wage and only write down that I work 25 hours a week. The fact that I am on call 12 hours a day, 7 days a week does not enter into it. I could quit, but this would probably mean that the business would end, my elderly parents would then have to rely upon their state pension and I would be on the dole. The media has been scaring the entire population for months with their endless predictions about Government cuts etc.Now the unions are harking back to the old days with their talk of strikes and campaign of civil disobedience. Is it any wonder that people no longer have the confidence to spend money anymore? Maybe the time for the unions to have taken action was last Winter whilst "New Labour" was still in power,this new Government is not likely to listen because they will be in power for the next 5 years provided the two parties can put up with each other. Could it be that Tony and Gordon may have used the terrorist threat to divert attention away from the fact that the economic miracle they told everyone they had created was just a bunch of lies and that this Country has been going down the pan for years?

    Am I alone in really dreading this next year, I really have had enough after the last 30 years, the struggle just wasn't worth it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    25,718
    Liked
    492 times
    The public sector wasn't facing cuts of up to 40% last winter...

  7. #7
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,659
    Liked
    144 times
    name='Mr Sloane' timestamp='1284404735' post='473981']

    I disagree, strike action is most effective weapon the ordinary person has against the ruling classes ...


    100% agreed ... even if it's not always effective, it's the only way to have an impact on saying that you disagree with people that don't give a dam about you otherwise (except if you're the "profitable" type of worker ). It's a counterbalance. But the heaviest at the end remain the economical deciders

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    25,718
    Liked
    492 times
    name='moonfleet' timestamp='1284410171' post='474012']

    100% agreed ... even if it's not always effective, it's the only way to have an impact on saying that you disagree with people that don't give a dam about you otherwise.


    If there's one nation that knows how to do proper protests, it's the French

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain GoggleboxUK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3,586
    Liked
    6 times
    I'm sure you're not alone Paul, there will be many with fears similar to yours but perspective is a curious thing and comparing yourself to others is a 2 sided coin.



    Ok, so by comparison to those in power your life is more hand-to-mouth and less luxurious but, with a roof over your head and whatever the dole pays out these days, you're far better off than, for example, the homeless or those in foreign, wartorn countries scratching for food and fearing the next bomb or bullet will have their name on it.



    Life is hard, that's a fact. It's how we endure that makes us what we are. This is what shapes the future, not those in suits deciding the rules and regulations. Britain hasn't come through 2 world wars to be crushed by a bunch of greedy bankers.



    Have faith.

  10. #10
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,659
    Liked
    144 times
    name='CaptainWaggett' timestamp='1284410262' post='474013']

    If there's one nation that knows how to do proper protests, it's the French


    Sometimes "too much" say those who have to take a train when on strike

    I'm laughing, but it's a situation that really go on your nerves when you have to go to work.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Ireland jimw1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5,642
    Liked
    396 times
    name='CaptainWaggett' timestamp='1284410262' post='474013']

    If there's one nation that knows how to do proper protests, it's the French


    Very True Captain.....

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    9,605
    Liked
    151 times
    They're predicting the cuts will go deeper than Maggie's in the 80s so we may get civil unrest and the BNP/EDL probably pouring fuel on the fire by targeting those areas hardest hit. Clegg seemed to get very rattled by a LD voter accusing him have following an 'ideological crusade to attack the weakest in society', but it does seem that Clegg, Cable (who should be a Tory) and Alexander seem to have more zeal for Cameron's agenda than Charles Kennedy or Simon Hughes. Wouldn't surprise me if the Libs split again as they have during previous coalitions.



    Tbh I don't think strikes ever work and any governments biggest fear is getting booted out of office. In the coalition it seems to be that the Tories are implementing policies but it's the Lib Dems that are taking a hit in the polls.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England paul kersey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,439
    Liked
    30 times
    Having considered this subject from all angles, I have come to the conclusion that there really is no answer to the economic woes that face Britain and the World today.

    Looking at the news today, it has been revealed that Cuba is to cut 1 million public sector jobs and encourage those affected to become self-employed, this solution sounds strangely familiar. I fully realise that Cuba's woes are not helped by the economic sanctions employed by the USA, but if a Communist country can see no other option but to make cuts, what is our Government expected to do?.



    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...My02pRq9ujZVfg

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK Mr Sloane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    12,500
    Liked
    239 times
    I think most people would agree that cuts are needed to kick start the economy but there is a zeal here to create smaller government and change the scope of the welfare state. Major changes to our way of life are on the way without any manifesto commitments but sneaked through on the excuse of the coalition agenda. Many people (Tories as well Liberals ) are going to find fundamental changes to the state implemented in their name without their consent. The coalition is heaven sent from a Tory point of view the liberals will take the brunt of the flack and they will come out of this relatively unscarred. I agree with DB it will only be a matter of time of time before Liberals spilt between the economic and social liberals.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    8,865
    Liked
    69 times
    name='Mr Sloane' timestamp='1284404735' post='473981']

    I disagree, strike action is most effective weapon the ordinary person has against the ruling classes - yes at times it will effect your fellow members of society but it has proved through out the years the only effective non violent weapon of the working classes. If it did n't work it would have died out years ago. Everyone striking loses out financially but people are prepared to endure for the common good. No it's not an easy option not least for the financial and career penalties that participants suffer but it is sometimes the only viable option.



    I hope other options are found but i fear that industrial action mat be the only way we have of opposing the excesses of this government.


    I remember when I was working at a club,when the management - made up of factory managers and factory workers (most of them card carrying Socialists) - imposed cut backs in the payment towards staff. Despite the talks,no negotiations could deter strike action.

    It was a Wednesday afternoon and a customer asked me where the bar staff was,and as not having a clue what was going on,I went behind the bar and served. The shop steward appeared and demanded to know what I was doing behind the bar,and when I replied I was serving the customers,he ordered me to leave the bar. As there were still customers to serve,I said I will serve the customers,and he still demanded that I leave. Despite protests from the customers that he had no right to talk to me like that,he said he didn't care and he carried on ordering me to leave the bar.

    A man,who was waiting to be served,said to me:"Mark - take my advice and leave the bar." Which I did.

    I was threatened to be taken to the head office of the union for being non-compliant,but I didn't know there was a strike on,and as far as I am concerned,the customers were innocent and deserved to get served.

    However,the man from the oil factory,who was in management,took me aside and told me that he advised me to leave the bar as he didn't want the situation to get ugly,but he also told me that if I was taken to the union head office,he would come with me and plead my case by the way I was spoken to.

    I went home,we had a vote the next morning to confirm the strike - I voted against it - and I went home,not bothering with picket duties. The strike was over by Saturday,I had lost two days wages,the club had lost money as customers went to other places,and there was a feeling of mistrust between staff.

    Management had won,the cuts were imposed.

    Alright,the strike was not on the scale of the miners' strike,but having faced head on of how vicious the unions can be,I am dead against strikes.

    My dad was a strong union man,as was my grandad,whose interest was to protect the interests of the workers,and not take them down the road for strike action,and my grandad was respected by both management and the workers.

    Do strikes work?

    Did it work for the miners,who lost money,which split communities? As for the rabble rousing maniac who led them,he has still got a lovely big house outside Barnsley.

    Did it work for the steel workers?

    How would an ordinary working man would feel,after saving up for a year to take his wife and family for a couple of weeks holiday in Spain,then only to be told when he arrives at the airport that his flight is cancelled due to strike action?

    Jimmy Reid had the better idea in the seventies,and he won.

    Mark

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    9,605
    Liked
    151 times
    name='paul kersey' timestamp='1284454089' post='474091']

    Having considered this subject from all angles, I have come to the conclusion that there really is no answer to the economic woes that face Britain and the World today.


    Yes there must be cuts as Labour went ott with ID Cards, quangos, centralised power etc etc but there must also be a stimulus to create jobs or else it's a policy of slash and burn.



    Here's a piece from The Observer:

    A senior Tory in the cabinet agrees with the Lib Dem leader that it is not comparable with the 1930s. This minister thinks the decade you have to go back to is actually the 1920s. There has not been a spending squeeze like it, remarks this minister with a sense of history, since "the Geddes Axe". Then, too, Britain was ruled by a Tory-Liberal coalition. Then, too, its policy was driven by alarm about the national finances, in that case the debt run up during the First World War. Sir Eric Geddes, a businessman, was put in charge of a committee to recommend cuts. By the time his blade had stopped swinging, the defence budget had been slashed by more than 40% and the number of civil servants had been reduced by over a third.



    The Geddes Axe scythed through everything, from welfare payments to secondary education. To this day, economists still don't agree whether it was necessary or wise. Some believe those cuts helped Britain to make a swifter exit to recovery from the vicious recessions of 1919 and 1921. Others contend that it did terrible damage to the economy.



    None of us today know whether the Condem cuts and more cuts or Labour's cuts and stimulus is the right approach to recovery. Either way I doubt it will be 'fair' and Bob Russell is probably correct that those not responsible for the financial mismanagement will end up bearing the brunt of the pain.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England zettel45's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,075
    Liked
    32 times
    name='Marky B' timestamp='1284459158' post='474115']Do strikes work?


    Historically speaking, yes.



    Why do you think working conditions in Britain today are vastly improved compared to, say, 100 or 150 years ago? Do you think companies agreed to eat into their profits out of the goodness of their hearts? No*. Change was brought about through pressure from organised labour. And striking was a cornerstone of that pressure.



    It is a Union's duty to secure the best possible pay and working conditions for its members. In part it does that through working constructively alongside management. But when push comes to shove it must apply all the pressure it can to make sure the management doesn't just dump all the pain on its workforce and keep as much of the pie for itself as possible. Because, believe me, that's exactly what they'll do if they think they can get away with it.



    A well-organised workforce has a clear effect on management when it comes to implementing cuts. It effects its starting position, its willingness to negotiate and how much ground it gives during negotiations. And even if a particular strike fails to achieve its objectives it can still have a knock-on effect and influence management's behavior next time they're considering making cuts.



    And if you think I'm talking out of my hat, just compare the pay and conditions of people in industries with well organised workforces to those in industries with little or no organisation.



    *Actually, some of them did, in a spirit of enlightened self-interest. But they were in a tiny minority.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK Mr Sloane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    12,500
    Liked
    239 times
    My experience of strikes is very different to Mark's. Last year the company I work for without consultation imposed compulsory redundancies, scrapped the old pension scheme and imposed a pay freeze. The union and the work consultation committee tried to negotiate but were re buffed. The consultation committee resigned en mass and the union called a strike ballot. The ballot was in favour of strike action.







    It is a multi national company and there are not many union members in my office, on the strike days there were at the most 5 members picketing , no intimidation from us but the management hired security men to make sure we did not step on company property and rudely made sure we complied.







    We held a series of one day strikes and eventually the management agreed to go to ACAS which they had refused point blank before the strike. We did not get everything we struck for but the management did withdraw all the compulsory redundancies and in the end no one was forced out of the company redundancies were all volunteers. It is quite clear this would not have happened without the strike and I am proud of what the strikers achieved.








  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    25,718
    Liked
    492 times
    name='Mr Sloane' timestamp='1284464680' post='474134']

    My experience of strikes is very different to Mark's. Last year the company I work for without consultation imposed compulsory redundancies, scrapped the old pension scheme and imposed a pay freeze. The union and the work consultation committee tried to negotiate but were re buffed. The consultation committee resigned en mass and the union called a strike ballot. The ballot was in favour of strike action.







    It is a multi national company and there are not many union members in my office, on the strike days there were at the most 5 members picketing , no intimidation from us but the management hired security men to make sure we did not step on company property and rudely made sure we complied.







    We held a series of one day strikes and eventually the management agreed to go to ACAS which they had refused point blank before the strike. We did not get everything we struck for but the management did withdraw all the compulsory redundancies and in the end no one was forced out of the company redundancies were all volunteers. It is quite clear this would not have happened without the strike and I am proud of what the strikers achieved.


    Well done

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Winter Wipeout
    By Steptoes Son in forum Looking for a Video/DVD (TV)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-01-12, 12:43 AM
  2. The Winter's Tale
    By Minafer in forum Looking for a Video/DVD (Film)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-12-10, 09:40 PM
  3. The Lion in Winter
    By Rick C in forum Your Favourite British Films
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-12-10, 12:44 PM
  4. If Winter Comes
    By dpgmel in forum Ask a Film Question
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 30-03-09, 04:40 PM
  5. The Winter's Tale
    By Minafer in forum Looking for a Video/DVD (Film)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-01-06, 09:36 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts