Wednesday, 25 June 2008

2008: A Summer of Discontent?


With the announcement that UNISON members in local government have voted 55% to 45% in favour of industrial action and with similar activity predicted amongst PCS and Prospect members does this herald a significant period of sustained trade union action over the Summer?

Even if this does what will be the impact?

Alistair Darling has clearly said that all workers, and by this he invariable means the public sector should take the lead, should show restraint in their pay demands and effectively tighten their belt within the current strained economic climate.

So, even if we have consecutive bouts of action across the public and even private sector will this shift the government's position pay policy?

As usual all comments welcome.




Peter said...

Hello Ian,

Thank you for this notice. I am always interested in looking at developments in the UK.

In African the whole continent is always in a state of crisis.

So I laugh when I see you say that just because a few workers might carry placards the whole state might crumble!

Of course Gordon Brown will not change his policy. He is facing a meltdown and only wants to be able to survive the next election.

Your UK unions with their links to the Labour Party are wasting their time if you think he will do anything to help you out.

Look, here we have a true crisis; a tragedy. Try living under Comrade Mugabe and then say what a crisis looks like.

Yours in God

Peter Chigana

Jaswant said...


You have to do something even if the end result doesn't end in change.

Members must believe that their union will commit to action when they are really being squeezed.

It is about time that Prentis took Brown on.

It may be a Summer of discontent but we did not start this.


Alan said...


Despite the title of your post I have yet to see any disruption this Summer.

I tend to think that like the Trots Ian you get a bit excited when there is a bit of 'action'.

Rationalise the situation and you will see that the unions need to be more professional.

I don't say that we can't use industrial action, but surely to Christ we can be more strategic.


Del said...


Although you might be arguing a Summer of discontent the action by UNISON on Weds and Thus doesn't paint the union movement in a truly radical, organised light.

As we all know the turnout for the ballot was low as was the majority voting for strike action.

Whilst it is incredulous that public sector workers are not unanimously aggrieved by the governments's treatment of their pay claims, this isn't the 1970's and there's no need to pretend that public sector union members are in the vanguard of some form of revolutionary movement.

Sorry to bring you down to earth.

Del A