Home > Uncategorized > To support or not to support the strikes? #n30

To support or not to support the strikes? #n30

I’ve been asking myself whether I support or don’t support the strikes today. I can see and understand both sides of the argument. In a sense I agree with both sides of the argument. What I don’t get and I don’t like from both sides is the sense of animosity to those that disagree with their line of argument. Caron puts this far more eloquently than I ever could.

Why I support the strikes.

  • Everyone deserves a good pension whether they are in the public or private sector. Public sector should be leading the way for better pensions.
  • Yesterday’s autumn statement that after the current pay freeze was over, wages would be limited to a 1% rise and with inflation at 5% this is effectively a pay cut. This leaves a number of low paid public sector workers worse off, struggling to pay the bills.
  • The fact that the terms they entered into are being dramatically changed through no fault of their own.
  • Whilst not part of the strike, there is inequality of pay in the public sector that has nothing to do with what the job is worth. If pay was fairer and based on worth then I think the pensions for people in the public sector would become fairer especially underpaid public sector workers including nurses, firemen etc.

Why I don’t support the strikes

  • Pensions are unsustainable. People are living longer. There are currently 4 workers for every pensioner that is soon to become 2 workers for every pensioner due to the ageing population.
  • Its wrong to strike now whilst negotiations are still ongoing. Both sides need to give a little.
  • Public sector workers are displaying a rather ugly side of what behavioural economics calls loss aversion i.e. they feel entitled to money that isn’t theirs.
  • I don’t think low-pad, underpaid private sector workers should be paying for generous public sector pensions.
  • They are striking on a 30% or less turnout. Not sure that the majority of the unions want to strike considering about 70% didn’t vote.
  • I get the feeling that this has nothing to do with pensions and everything to do with a government they don’t like. Had Labour suggested this or different pension reforms but still left public sector workers worse-off, I doubt we would be hearing a squeak out of the Trade Unions and I doubt we would be seeing protests.

While I support some of the aims of the strikers, I disagree with the attitude that these strikers seem to have towards people who disagree with them. I know something has to give when it comes to pensions. On the whole, I do not support the strikes happening today.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 14, 2011 at 18:34

    Why I support striking workers:

    The pension cuts are making people work up to an extra 8 years for no extra money at the end.

    Public sector pensions ARE affordable. They were renegotiated in 2008, in a scheme designed to be affordable for the next 50 years.

    It is better to negotiate from a position of strength in order to force the government to back down.

    The turnouts in favour of strike action were actually quite high. Around 80% of those that voted, across all 25 unions on strike backed the action. A 30% turnout is very good for a postal ballot – a lot of envelopes will be forgotten about, end up behind the sofa, etc.

    Yes – a lot has to do with this being about a deeply unpopular government, which is making savage public sector cuts. This is another reason to support the strike. If we do not fight back now, the unions, mostly organised in the public sector will be decimated. We need to unite private and public sector workers together.

    I do not support the Labour Party either – they are saying that the cuts are too deep and too fast, but they are still passing on coalition cuts to ordinary people. As you say in another post, that Labour made Britain “anorexic” – making cuts doesn’t help the economy – it only puts people out of work and makes the situation even worse. We need to invest in public services, not slash them. I think the unions should disaffiliate from Labour and build a new party to represent the interests ordinary people, as none of the main three parties have any answers to the economic crisis.

    I am a supporter of TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition).

  1. December 4, 2011 at 12:56

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