Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Biggest Strikes Since 1926 - Why?

The unions have got themselves a bit carried away in their rhetoric of late. Talking up strike action to rival the General Strike of 1926 only prompts people like me to look up how successful that particular campaign was.

What was it about?
Miners workers pay and conditions.

What was the problem?
They were going to get paid less and work more.

Why?
The mining industry in this country was dying on its arse. The easy rich seams were depleted long ago. Extracting the remaining sources was getting increasingly expensive and foreign supplies were becoming ever cheaper.

Why did the strike get so big?
Largely out of sympathy strikes. Subsequently made illegal.

What was the result?
Take a look at our thriving industry now. There's no escaping the inevitable.


And moving on to the present. Lets spot the similarities:

What is it about?
Pensions, mostly.

What is the problem?
Well, they are going to get paid less (by contributing more to their pensions and getting less back than they thought) and work more (extra years per lifetime rather than hours per day).

Why?
Well, the demographics of supporting large pensions are dying on their arse. The days were there were 9 workers to support each pensioner are long gone. We're now looking at closer 3.

Why is the strike getting so big?
As our Chancellor likes to point out we're all in it together. It's a mutual cause that chimes with almost every union.

What will the result be?
Take a look at the private sector. What's unsustainable will not be sustained. Kick and scream about it by all means, but it won't change. Not without a great shift in the demographic layout of the country.

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