Did UNITE ever intend to settle?

  ened 08:29 15 Jun 2008

I have just read that UNITE never intended to settle this dispute, and that it was intended to give Shell a 'bloody nose'.

If that is true I find it contemptible.

I find it contemptible for everybody not least the drivers who are losing hundreds of pounds in pay because of some communist's political agenda!

  laurie53 08:31 15 Jun 2008

What evidence do you have that it is a communist agenda?

  WhiteTruckMan 09:13 15 Jun 2008

did you read it?


  Forum Editor 09:35 15 Jun 2008

Surely those days are past - what on earth convinces you that there is even the hint of "some communist's political agenda" in this?

  ened 09:41 15 Jun 2008

I read it in the Sunday Express and I do most certainly believe 'those days' are not past.

I do not need 'evidence' as it is an opinion but there can be no doubt that many of the leaders of the larger unions are well left of centre.

  spuds 13:04 15 Jun 2008

Considering that unions had representation in most industries that was once evident in most parts of the country, this certainly doesn't apply nowadays, as most unions on average have the squeak of a mouse, instead of the roar yesterdays lion.Trade unionism took a severe knock in the miners era, with the then decline of memberships to unions.

When the government (losing tax revenue) and people start really feeling the pinch (commodity price increases and food shortages), then things will turn from 'give a hoot for support' at picket lines, to more serious attitudes being adopted.This happened in the miners strike, when 'friends' fell out with 'friends', and to this day, some wounds have not healed in certain communities.

Yes the tanker drivers may have a point in regarding high profits and big wage packets, perks and bonus's for bosses and commercial shareholders. And this should be addressed by government. But looking at it in another light, the tanker drivers were paid a very high rate for the job all through the previous years. The talk of struggling on £32.000 per annum didn't seem to worry the tanker drivers previously, when other services were and still are, struggling on perhaps £12.000 per annum. Every day there are many hazardous loads being transported around the country, and some of those drivers are in no way treated like transporters of Shell products.

  laurie53 18:37 15 Jun 2008

"I do not need 'evidence' as it is an opinion but there can be no doubt that many of the leaders of the larger unions are well left of centre."

Many thousands of people "well left of centre" have spent their whole lives battling against communism, even in the unions.

  tullie 18:49 15 Jun 2008

I feel sorry for the drivers having to survive on 32,000,they should try on half that amount like some of us have to,or less in some cases.As for it being a dangerous job,many jobs are.They should take a trip to Iraq or Afganistan and see what the troops put up with on half that amount.

  Forum Editor 20:16 15 Jun 2008

are 'well left of centre', but it doesn't make them Communists, and it certainly doesn't justify the comment that "drivers are losing hundreds of pounds in pay because of some communist's political agenda."

  Stuartli 09:48 16 Jun 2008

The tanker drivers voted by an overwhelming majority for the union to take action.

Unions originally came into being because they were sorely needed and gradually improved the lot of workers until it was pretty evenly balanced between the employees and the employers.

However, many unions gradually became too powerful as the years of the 60s and 70s demonstrated and it took the strength of Margaret Thatcher and her government to dissipate the economic harm being caused to the country.

  ened 16:55 16 Jun 2008

In simple terms unions - or organised labour - developed because of the arrogance of the upper classes.

It could be argued they were a necessity and forced the changes in attitudes which have continued to develop today.

I am not anti-union but they can be hi-jacked by militants with their own agenda - Arthur Scargill being the most obvious example.

FE. The drivers are not being paid whilst on strike: ergo they ARE losing hundreds of pounds in pay!

It is interesting to read that there was an offer on the table last week which would have taken their pay up to over £41,000.

Most of the people I know and meet have said they would have been more than happy to be taking home £30K.

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