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ckn

30 years since the miners' strike

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It's quite scary really how many of the things that Scargill and co were saying were actually true, that said, Scargill walked right into the trap and quite happily screwed over the miners at the same time.  A brutal time for many families, mining communities that are still devastated and the devastation of the trades union movement as an effective force.

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It's quite scary really how many of the things that Scargill and co were saying were actually true, that said, Scargill walked right into the trap and quite happily screwed over the miners at the same time.  A brutal time for many families, mining communities that are still devastated and the devastation of the trades union movement as an effective force.

Served as a fault line for the changes that were coming into British society. 

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In any relationship if one side is too powerful it causes problems. In the seventies Unions were strong and management was weak.

Now we have the opposite; niether situation is right.

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In any relationship if one side is too powerful it causes problems. In the seventies Unions were strong and management was weak.

Now we have the opposite; niether situation is right.

Why do you think unions are weak?

 

In my experience they are smart, well organised and clued up, and they are much more effective than they were when their leaders used their members (in some unions) as ideological battering rams.

 

I know its a broad generalisation, but they generally represent their members better now than they did then.

 

Bob Crow was actually quite a good example of that development in a way that someone like Scargill, who Crow claimed to admire, never was.

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I have my 30th anniversary 'Coal not Dole' badge from an excellent exhibition on the subject at Barnsley museum http://www.experience-barnsley.com/barnsley-women-against-pit-closures The original is long gone. I also have this framed in my hallway at home Miner-faces-police-at-Org-008.jpg

 

It was the rock that caused ripples across the whole of the North's industrial landscape. A feckin' awful time to have  the people you love work in 'traditional' industries.

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Why do you think unions are weak?

 

In my experience they are smart, well organised and clued up, and they are much more effective than they were when their leaders used their members (in some unions) as ideological battering rams.

 

I know its a broad generalisation, but they generally represent their members better now than they did then.

 

Bob Crow was actually quite a good example of that development in a way that someone like Scargill, who Crow claimed to admire, never was.

In the film industry BECTU are as weak as budweiser. The industry ignored them completely from the mid-80's onwards and as a result there are only a handful of members left, when it had been previously very unionised. Because of the way the film industry is structured there is no right to recognition.

 

A direct result of all that was that the men in the construction side of the film industry went for over decade, early 90's to mid-noughties, without a single pay rise. You can bet your life the producers didn't experience the same thing! And their working conditions fell away alarmingly too - for example they are all on daily contracts now, meaning they can be laid off at 4pm. 

 

The union can do nothing about it because they're not recognised, so none of the men bother joining it anymore, meaning it's easier than ever for the producers to hammer down on their terms and conditions. Year by year it's grown worse and worse. And this is an industry that the government is always so eager to claim we lead the world in.

 

I know that on a film a couple of years back some of the (unionised) Americans were shocked by how little protection there was for workers in this country.

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In the film industry BECTU are as weak as budweiser. The industry ignored them completely from the mid-80's onwards and as a result there are only a handful of members left, when it had been previously very unionised. Because of the way the film industry is structured there is no right to recognition.

 

A direct result of all that was that the men in the construction side of the film industry went for over decade, early 90's to mid-noughties, without a single pay rise. You can bet your life the producers didn't experience the same thing! And their working conditions fell away alarmingly too - for example they are all on daily contracts now, meaning they can be laid off at 4pm. 

 

The union can do nothing about it because they're not recognised, so none of the men bother joining it anymore, meaning it's easier than ever for the producers to hammer down on their terms and conditions. Year by year it's grown worse and worse. And this is an industry that the government is always so eager to claim we lead the world in.

 

I know that on a film a couple of years back some of the (unionised) Americans were shocked by how little protection there was for workers in this country.

The industry I work in has no trade union at all and never has had.

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The industry I work in has no trade union at all and never has had.

I work for a large high street retailer who does not allow/recognise trade unions. We have "representation" through a staff panel, over the past 10 years or so benefits have been removed and working conditions have got worse. Very little you can do except leave

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Why do you think unions are weak?

 

In my experience they are smart, well organised and clued up, and they are much more effective than they were when their leaders used their members (in some unions) as ideological battering rams.

 

I know its a broad generalisation, but they generally represent their members better now than they did then.

 

Bob Crow was actually quite a good example of that development in a way that someone like Scargill, who Crow claimed to admire, never was.

That depends on what unions you are talking about. 

30+ years ago, there were many unions who probably weren't too smart. The battering ram unions came from a few certain industries. A large number of union members disappeared quietly with those industries that suffered most from overseas competition.

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Might get a test as to how strong the unions are now that the universal civil service pay rise will not be implemented.

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The industry I work in has no trade union at all and never has had.

I doubt that's true.

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Bob Crow was actually quite a good example of that development in a way that someone like Scargill, who Crow claimed to admire, never was.

Scargill was a first class idiot, and I thought so at the time.  I mean, if you're representing the coal industry, who but an idiot would take their workers out on strike during the summertime?  How dumb was that?  Mind you, I'm glad he did because that meant he lost the war AND the battle, and frankly I was very relieved to see the back of that kind of union which did stuff all for our country but served the egos of a small band of men very well. 

 

I'm repeatedly thankful that the days are now gone, and hopefully remain gone, when the country was held to ransom by the unelected and undemocractic unions.

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Scargill was a first class idiot, and I thought so at the time.  I mean, if you're representing the coal industry, who but an idiot would take their workers out on strike during the summertime?  How dumb was that?  Mind you, I'm glad he did because that meant he lost the war AND the battle, and frankly I was very relieved to see the back of that kind of union which did stuff all for our country but served the egos of a small band of men very well. 

 

I'm repeatedly thankful that the days are now gone, and hopefully remain gone, when the country was held to ransom by the unelected and undemocractic unions.

 

 

Obviously you can't even begin to conceive of why people would want to fight to save jobs and communities because you're a rugged individualist who can do it all on your own.

 

In the dim manichean universe you inhabit the miners should have shaken their heads, packed away their snap tins and walked slowly down the road into industrial oblivion, 

 

I'd take my chances with the unions any day over being held to ransom by the unelected and undemocratic bosses of amalgamated conglomerates plc.

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If you have a job where the management aren't constantly looking for ways to get 2 people to do 3 or 4 separate jobs, then you are pretty lucky.

Strangely there never seems to be too many managers and so forth walking about poijting out how lazy people are and can't they work faster but not actually producing anything or generating any profit themselves.

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Obviously you can't even begin to conceive of why people would want to fight to save jobs and communities because you're a rugged individualist who can do it all on your own.

 

Yeah, that's me!

 

One thing I've never understood is why people think going out on strike saves jobs.  Seems to me it often has the opposite effect.

 

 

In the dim manichean universe you inhabit the miners should have shaken their heads, packed away their snap tins and walked slowly down the road into industrial oblivion, 

 

Seems like that is what happened anyway.  

 

 

I'd take my chances with the unions any day over being held to ransom by the unelected and undemocratic bosses of amalgamated conglomerates plc.

The difference is that those 'amalgamated conglomerates' bring money into the economy; the mining industry (along with other nationalised behemoths) did the opposite and had done for some time.  It was adapt or die.

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One thing I've never understood is why people think going out on strike saves jobs.....

.....The difference is that those 'amalgamated conglomerates' bring money into the economy; the mining industry.

I think there's an awful lot you don't understand.

And workers bring money into the economy, without them there is nothing.

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Your lack of self awareness is almost insouciant

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One thing I've never understood is why people think going out on strike saves jobs. Seems to me it often has the opposite effect

It's one of the very few bargaining tools that working people have. What else are they meant to do? Ask the bosses really nicely for more money?

Maybe we should all work for free come to mention it, profits would then go through the roof.

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Your lack of self awareness is almost insouciant

I can be blase when I know that what is being said about me is just ignorant tosh.  Although why people have to make personal comments about me (or anyone else for that matter) is beyond me.  Presumably they can't get their arguments to work properly so they have to resort to insult, or perceived insult.

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It's one of the very few bargaining tools that working people have. What else are they meant to do? Ask the bosses really nicely for more money?

 

It's an option! 

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And workers bring money into the economy, without them there is nothing.

Er yeah.  Companies are made up of workers, from senior management to cleaners and every person in between.  What's your point?

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Er yeah.  Companies are made up of workers, from senior management to cleaners and every person in between.  What's your point?

 

 

Senior management aren't workers, they're management, the clue is in the name.

 

Management by edict/coercion/heirarchy is grossly inefficient, it leads to confusion and an alienated workforce. 

 

Read "The inefficiencies of management" by Harvey Liebenstein as a starting point

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Senior management aren't workers, they're management, the clue is in the name.

 

So management don't get paid for what they do then?

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So management don't get paid for what they do then?

 

 

I really have to ask if you're playing the bunny

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It's an option!

Most employers today are heading back to the Dickensian era with their approach. Asking for more is quite apt in such circumstances.

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