Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Do Unions Need the Likes of Bob Crow?


courtesy of Reuters

Bob Crow claims to be the leader of the fastest growing union in Britain. Yesterday he was calling for general and co-ordinated strike action across the public and private sectors to stop the coalition's "savage assault on jobs, living standards and public services".

Other unions have promised to fight government plans to freeze public sector pay and curb pension benefits in what could be a tense autumn.

However, this morning on Radio5Live, Mr Crow seemed in a much more conciliatory mood. "We need to debate the effect this will have on public sector workers. The unions should work together on this".

Why the overnight drop in his usual militant manner? He's at a conference in Aberdeen. Did some people have a quiet word with him last night telling him his constant militant attitude turns the public away or was it the sea air?

I have little time for the modern unions as I think the majority of the bosses are bully-boys who are far more concerned with their own personal power than protecting their members. Almost immediately any change in the public services is muted, these loud-mouths are on the media insisting their members will vote to strike. We need unions but those which protect and assist their membership. There are some around today which are not militant and are listened to far more closely for that reason.

If Bob Crow and his ilk are prepared to talk reasonably with government I'm all for that. If all they do is turn up in radio and television studios day after day, shouting 'strike' at every turn, then they will never gain the trust or empathy of the general public. Has anyone ever heard Willie Walsh deride the union reps he has been dealing with during the months of the BA turmoil? He has kept his dignity and been courteous at all times to those involved in the negotiations. Maybe Bob Crow, the Unite leaders and others could take a leaf out of his book.

Note: That's not to say I agree with Willie Walsh's policies.


13 comments:

Harry said...

The looming dole queues have tamed his rhetoric, 'tis all. Unemployment has that effect, even on the most staunch of socialists. His shtick has to change with the economic realities.

Or he's on Mogadon.

subrosa said...

He was certainly affected by something overnight Harry.

Do they still prescribe Mogadon?

DaveF said...

Perhaps it is finally sinking in that the public sector - the crowning glory of the Labour Party's fake empire - is going to have to lose a lot of employees in the cuts. Oh - and the days of preferential pensions and salaries are over. Welcome to the real world, punks.

Mrs Rigby said...

They know that if the few 'militants' went on strike there'd be enough who won't> If they do strike will we notice any difference in service? There still wouldn't be anybody answering the phone after 4.30 mon-thur and after lunch on fridays because they use their flexitime to go home.

The Unions are important, but they may have done their job because of all the employment legislation in place - both here ans EU.

Are the high-ups like Bob Crow desperate to hang onto their own jobs too? It seems that union subscriptions are falling, so ...

Joe Public said...

"....unions ..... are far more concerned with ..... protecting their members."

Unions are far more concerned with protecting their membership.

Dramfineday said...

Funny how when labour goes out of Govt out come the red flag mob. Harold Wilson "I'll get the miners back to work" Ted got dumped and the miners went straight back to work having filled their boots with our money. Oh Yes, the good old days.........

JuliaM said...

In the 'Metro' this morning he was full of piss & vinegar, vowing strikes the likes of which this country had never seen, and exhorting his members to remember the old Tory behaviour over the miners strike.

Any union people thinking of falling in behind Comrade Crow should remember who wasn't personally affected by that ruinous action in the slightest.

One Comrade Scargill.

subrosa said...

Indeed Dave, let's welcome them to the real world. The folk I know in the public sector are just pleased they have a job, regardless of pay. In fact a couple say their jobs could be done by half a person.

subrosa said...

They may well be past their sell-by date Mrs R. We need something to protect all workers, not just the public sector, but I think the present leaderships are too far embedded in the communist theories.

subrosa said...

Joe, it never ceases to amaze me that folk pay into unions yet get near to damn all in return. They're like sheep. The bosses say strike and they do. Astonishing.

Something has gone seriously wrong with our education system.

subrosa said...

Aye Scargill Julia. Auch he was very low key on Radio5Live. Why I don't know. As I've said maybe he's got the 'message' but I doubt it. He wants to look after his lifestyle of course.

Allan said...

The cuts the unions, and for that matter the rest of us, should be pressing us for is the cuts to the wages of the heads of service and the middle managers. Renfrewshire Council gave inflation busting rises to their heads of service in 2008, of approximately 17%. For what exactly? Nothing either about the black hole in our finances called PFI.

subrosa said...

PFi and PPP are the destruction of our country Allan. Without their lengthy extortionate contracts we may have been able to survive quite well.

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