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Friday, 4 November 2011


Why the government are targetting UNISON - and why UNISON need to take responsibility

The government promised to sort out the economy. There are many ways in which they could do that; unfortunately most of them rely on a stream of money coming in from people who don't have the confidence to provide it. Those people are too busy licking their wound from the Euro fiasco and they're very probably looking to get a mighty return on their investment to compensate.

One other way is for British Industry to get off its backside and start making things that other people want, but so many obstacles, both financial and administrative, are in the way. Perhaps removing these would be a start?

The cheap and easy way is to spend less. Again, one way to do that is to stop propping up dodgy economies like Greece’s, but for reasons I cannot fathom that is not an option. I suspect that Merkel and Sarkozy have kidnapped Cameron’s children, or something.

So, that leaves cuts.

Cutting spend means cutting jobs.

UNISON members are public sector workers paid for by the private sector. The private sector are people who do things that other people want to pay for, such as manufacturing, banking, finance, services, etc. The public sector do things that people have to have, like emptying bins, teaching children, nursing, doctoring, etc.

In the private sector, if a company doesn’t keep to its budgets, it goes bankrupt and everybody is out of a job.

In the public sector, if a company doesn’t keep to its budgets, tax goes up and their budgets are increased.

When the tax paid by the private sector drops below the cost of the public sector, then either more tax needs to be paid, or borrowing needs to increase, or cuts have to be made.

Cuts have to be made. UNISON is the biggest union, and to achieve financial stability, the government have to either pay everyone in it less, or lay some off.

Union leaders are being paid more than the Prime Minister, so they have an interest in appearing to support their members. The government won’t negotiate, because there is nothing to negotiate over, therefore the unions strike because that is their only recourse.

But this is madness. When the union workers are on strike, they are not being paid. This only exacerbates their agony and anger, and attracts the ire of the public whose service are being cut and who being inconvenienced. The union bosses, however, are still being paid, and the union dues are still payable. Genius, isn’t it?

UNISON need to take responsibility. They need to start by assessing any possibilities of their members taking early retirement, changes of job, retraining, etc. They need to work WITH the government. That won’t happen. They wouldn’t even work with a faux-Labour government under Blair and Brown, so there is no chance of it happening with well-heeled self-sufficient, nay rich, sons of bankers and Eton.

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