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Conservatives to make public service strikes more difficult to call if they win GE watch

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    (Original post by Katty3)
    The right to strike was hard won by the Chartist movement. Strikes are a good thing as they force employers to listen to workers demands, e.g., stop the cuts, Michael Gove is Education Secretary, Andrew Landsley's health reforms, privatization, etc.
    This is merely an attempt to get the unions to shut up. GET THE TORIES OUT. my reasons why are so extensive, it would take at least 3 pages to write them all.
    To save some time then, could you explain why strikes should be allowed when a minority of Union members vote for one.

    In your own time...go on.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    To save some time then, could you explain why strikes should be allowed when a minority of Union members vote for one.

    In your own time...go on.
    It's a similar argument to why we allow political change with only a small turnout. The argument follows that if you can't be bothered to vote, you can't complain about the outcome of a vote.
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    (Original post by Reluire)
    It's a similar argument to why we allow political change with only a small turnout. The argument follows that if you can't be bothered to vote, you can't complain about the outcome of a vote.
    Precisely. So why should the minority be able to strike.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Precisely. So why should the minority be able to strike.
    Because they actually made a vote, whereas the majority of union members didn't, therefore even though it's only a small proportion who actually voted, they form a simple majority which is what's required to strike. It's democracy. It seems wrong because there are so many more union members who simply abstained, but it works the same way in elections. Even if it was a 1% turnout, the simply majority of that 1% would be politically legitimate.
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    (Original post by Reluire)
    Because they actually made a vote, whereas the majority of union members didn't, therefore even though it's only a small proportion who actually voted, they form a simple majority which is what's required to strike. It's democracy. It seems wrong because there are so many more union members who simply abstained, but it works the same way in elections. Even if it was a 1% turnout, the simply majority of that 1% would be politically legitimate.
    There's a high degree of voter apathy at a lot of levels.

    I'd rather not get impacted by strike action because of the actions of the minority. It's very easy to mobilise a minority in any form of an election.
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    If such a standard were applied to elections, then virtually no-one would get elected. Why should unions (which are voluntary membership organisations anyway) be held to a significantly higher standard than official representatives?
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    To save some time then, could you explain why strikes should be allowed when a minority of Union members vote for one.

    In your own time...go on.
    Because if the majority are apathetic then it is their own fault. In the Miners strike of the 1980s, people who went into work were called "scabs". The people who did not vote were bound by it even though they did not participate. It is effectively the majority's own fault for being called out on strike, which is done in their own best interests (to attempt to improve pay, working conditions or to protest an unfair decision), because they could not be bothered to get out of bed.
    The Chartists were formed in 1838 in response to political corruption, massive inequality in society, and a feeling of betrayal by a political class that did not represent the interests of the majority of people.
    There were wide spread strikes, political protests, and demands for suffrage.
    This struggle for equality is seen by many as the reason we shouldn't waste our democratic rights or see them impinged in any way shape or form so as not to undermine the sacrifice of the Chartists.
    The reduction of the right to strike is a slippery slope that will only result in poorer working conditions, poorer pay, more inequality and a more undemocratic society.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Taff Vale is about whether you can sue an organisation that does not legally exist for tort. It has nothing to do with claims in contract.

    What wasn't in issue in that case was whether a tort was committed at all because that had already been decided against the labour interest. However the so called economic torts were invented in the context of labour relations, were anomalous in a number of legal ways and still to this day barely exist outside of the employment context (inducing breach of contract is endemic in the mortgage industry and motor trades for example).
    My impression from the article is that the company won the dispute but then statutory legislation introduced specific exemptions to damages for trades unions. Is that wrong?

    You are quite correct that workers have privileged positions by statute in relation to their contracts following the ending of a trades dispute.

    The point that I am trying to get over here is that there is no past neutral position where there was ever freedom of contract in employment relations.

    The first statutory intervention to negate the competitive advantage of workers in a labour shortage was the emergency legislation passed in consequence of the Black Death but that legislation remained operational until Victorian times.
    OK but what such legislation existed in say April 1901, after Victorian times but before Taff Vale?

    More generally do you disagree with treating labour contracts as just any other contract, even if it were a totally new and unprecedented development?
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    (Original post by Reluire)
    Because they actually made a vote, whereas the majority of union members didn't, therefore even though it's only a small proportion who actually voted, they form a simple majority which is what's required to strike. It's democracy. It seems wrong because there are so many more union members who simply abstained, but it works the same way in elections. Even if it was a 1% turnout, the simply majority of that 1% would be politically legitimate.
    To turn it the other way i'd ask why unions should be aloud to strike in the public sector (taking advantage of the fact that their employer is voted in by those who will affected) over a mirade of issues that they would not dare strike over in the private sector. The RMT threatens to strike every other week.
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    (Original post by Katty3)
    Because if the majority are apathetic then it is their own fault. In the Miners strike of the 1980s, people who went into work were called "scabs". The people who did not vote were bound by it even though they did not participate. It is effectively the majority's own fault for being called out on strike, which is done in their own best interests (to attempt to improve pay, working conditions or to protest an unfair decision), because they could not be bothered to get out of bed.
    The Chartists were formed in 1838 in response to political corruption, massive inequality in society, and a feeling of betrayal by a political class that did not represent the interests of the majority of people.
    There were wide spread strikes, political protests, and demands for suffrage.
    This struggle for equality is seen by many as the reason we shouldn't waste our democratic rights or see them impinged in any way shape or form so as not to undermine the sacrifice of the Chartists.
    The reduction of the right to strike is a slippery slope that will only result in poorer working conditions, poorer pay, more inequality and a more undemocratic society.
    You may want to do a little bit of reading up on the miners strike.

    Scargill called the miners out but didn't offer a ballot on the issue. A ballot was offer was offers in only one area.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    A ballot was offer was offers in only one area.
    That doesn't make any sense, at all.
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    No great surprise. Announced just before a London-wide bus strike.
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    (Original post by Katty3)
    That doesn't make any sense, at all.
    Only one regional ballot was held. Scargill took one regional result and took the whole country to strike on the back of it.
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    No great surprise. Announced just before a London-wide bus strike.
    London bus strike. London tube strike. Nhs strike. Fire brigade strike.

    Unions need to understand that atrikes don't work any more and they don't get sympathy from the public.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    Do you have any idea what tube workers earn? Do you have any idea the kind of demands and blackmails they have made in recent times under the threat of strike action?
    Blackmail? Surely you mean "obtaining the greatest price for their labour that the market will bear"?

    Why is it that right-wingers are absolutely happy for this to occur with any other product except when people are co-operating with one another to obtain the best price for their labour?

    Could it be because on this issue conservatives are hypocrites and the free-market ideology only applies in their mind when it benefits the rich?
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    London bus strike. London tube strike. Nhs strike. Fire brigade strike.

    Unions need to understand that atrikes don't work any more and they don't get sympathy from the public.
    Public sympathy is irrelevant (though in fact polls showed during the last tube strike that they had majority support).

    What is relevant is the industrial relationship between employer and employee.

    Why is it that right-wingers become so angry when workers operate collectively in order to obtain the greatest price for their labour that the market will bear? Why is it they are happy for this to occur for any other good or service, or indeed for chief executives, but when ordinary workers operate under the capitalist principle of getting the best price for what they are selling, it's somehow impermissible?

    That sounds like hypocrisy to me
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Blackmail? Surely you mean "obtaining the greatest price for their labour that the market will bear"?

    Why is it that right-wingers are absolutely happy for this to occur with any other product except when people are co-operating with one another to obtain the best price for their labour?

    Could it be because on this issue conservatives are hypocrites and the free-market ideology only applies in their mind when it benefits the rich?
    Free marketeers don't support state-backed cartels for the provision of any good or service. It's not collective bargaining that is the problem but the ability to breach contracts with impunity and (in some countries) the ability to negotiate contracts and dictate strikes for employees who aren't or don't want to be in the union.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Free marketeers don't support state-backed cartels for the provision of any good or service.
    How are trade unions a state-backed cartel?

    It's not collective bargaining that is the problem but the ability to breach contracts with impunity
    An employer is perfectly entitled to sue for damages arising from the breach.

    In fact, the entire industrial-relations settlement is based on the understanding that statute will protect an employee from being dismissed for breach of contract, and it will protect the employer by imposing significant restrictions on when, where and how employees can strike.

    As a trade unionist, I would be very happy to reset the industrial relations settlement; remove the protection from dismissal for striking, and remove the strike ballot requirements, the ban on secondary picketing and wildcat strikes, the limits on picket numbers, and so on. That one protection trade unionists get (from dismissal for breach of contract) no longer justifies all the other restrictions on us.

    In reality, most employers will not dismiss striking employees for very practical reasons; it means they end up with no workforce. In an economy where experience and skills count for a lot, it is bad business to dismiss someone who has been with you for ten years because he misses a day of work (for which you have weeks of notice) in an industrial dispute.

    and (in some countries) the ability to negotiate contracts and
    Which countries? And how is that relevant to the UK? There are huge divergences between the industrial relations environment in different countries, it's simply not credible to claim you can come to some kind of general conclusion for the industrialised world.

    In any case, I don't think most people in the UK would be particularly keen on taking us to an extreme, right-wing employment system you undoubtedly advocate, like the American one; at-will employment, no guaranteed annual leave, no minimum wage, and so on. If that's a debate you want to have in the public sphere (not you personally, I mean conservatives), bring it on

    dictate strikes for employees who aren't or don't want to be in the union.
    What are you talking about? I'm sorry but you are confused; there is no closed shop in the UK anymore (in fact, it's expressly banned by law), and no-one who doesn't want to strike is required to, and no-one who doesn't want to be in a union has to join one.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    To save some time then, could you explain why strikes should be allowed when a minority of Union members vote for one.
    It's not a minority; in a strike ballot, it requires a majority of those voting to opt to strike. And no-one who doesn't want to strike is required to. If you're saying that sometimes turnout is less than 100%, perhaps you can attempt to justify the same in our electoral system? One rule for the politicians and another for everyone else?

    Perhaps you can tell me why the government should be allowed to interfere in the internal affairs and constitutional arrangements of a private organisation such as a trade union?
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Public sympathy is irrelevant (though in fact polls showed during the last tube strike that they had majority support).

    What is relevant is the industrial relationship between employer and employee.

    Why is it that right-wingers become so angry when workers operate collectively in order to obtain the greatest price for their labour that the market will bear? Why is it they are happy for this to occur for any other good or service, or indeed for chief executives, but when ordinary workers operate under the capitalist principle of getting the best price for what they are selling, it's somehow impermissible?

    That sounds like hypocrisy to me
    Public sympathy is very important .

    I don't get angry when workers work together. I get angry when a minority of workers can hold a comply and society to ransom.
 
 
 
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