Forthcoming 'national' strike

  lucky1 20:06 26 Nov 2011

With the nation due to be hit with major disruption in some areas on Wednesday, what are your views on this industrial action? Given that the number of respondants to strike votes by the unions were, in some cases, relatively small, is the strike justified?

  justme 20:16 26 Nov 2011

It would be very interesting to see just how many MPs were elected with less votes than half the number of electors in their constiuency.

Surely the voting system used to elect MPs is good enough for the unions.

Before anyone starts calling me a union representative can I just say I am not even a member of any union.

  Forum Editor 21:01 26 Nov 2011


Please explain how a union ballot which is simply a choice between 'yes' and 'no' can possibly be compared to an election where there may be many candidates and multiple issues involved.

  Aitchbee 21:03 26 Nov 2011

YES the strike IS justified.The government is demanding 'blanket' unfair proposals to millions of workers.The UK Government must listen to the masses of workers. If they, (The UK Government) do not listen, then the economy of this country will plummet to unfathommable depths.

  Snec 21:26 26 Nov 2011

"The UK Government must listen to the masses of workers. If they, (The UK Government) do not listen, then the economy of this country will plummet to unfathommable depths."<<

As demonstrated by all recent governments, listening is not part of the job description but plummeting the country to the depths you describe could well be and the odd strike here and there isn't, I fear, going to make any significant difference the problems facing the UK at this time.

  Forum Editor 21:43 26 Nov 2011


Do you actually have any idea about how many of 'the masses of workers' in this country voted for strike action, or even how many voted at all?

  Admiral Allstar 22:04 26 Nov 2011

This strike is by public sector workers. As a taxpayer I fail to see why they should receive a better pension at my expense than me. Before anyone bleats about poor pay etc there are similar cases in the private sector.

I would also like to compare the total remuneration (including holidays, benefits etc) afforded to public sector workers to that of corresponding private sector workers. I think this might be quite revealing.

"YES the strike IS justified.The government is demanding 'blanket' unfair proposals to millions of workers.The UK Government must listen to the masses of workers. If they, (The UK Government) do not listen, then the economy of this country will plummet to unfathommable depths."

Please explain what these 'blanket' unfair proposals are.

  Flak999 22:29 26 Nov 2011


"is the strike justified?"

Totally justified in my opinion! I worked in the public sector for thirty years as a Fireman, I joined the London Fire Brigade in 1978 and part of my contract of employment was membership of the Fireman's pension scheme. I paid 11% of my salary for thirty years into a final salary scheme which has given me a 2/3 pension to retire on.

How can it be right that other public sector workers who are contributing to similar schemes can be told midway through their service that "oh by the way you know that pension that you thought you were getting? Well your not getting it anymore!"

Pay more, work longer and get less!

I think I am right in saying that the average public sector pension would work out at £5000 a year! Most of the people anticipating getting this pension are the lowest paid workers in society, a high percentage being women.

This country and it's economy has been virtually brought to it's knees by the need to bail out totally irresponsible bankers who have gambled the asserts of our financial institutions, and we the men and women in the street are expected to don hair shirts and be thrust into penury to save their sorry skins!

It just won't wash I'm afraid! We are all in this together bleat the millionaire members of the Government, a bigger bunch of patronising lying hypocrites you have ever met!

Strange isn't it that million upon million of pounds can be found to fund foreign military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and probably Syria and Iran! We don't seem to be broke when it comes to war do we?

We can find millions more to increase our contributions to the Cursed EU and the IMF, we can waste millions here on failed defence procurement projects like Nimrod and the millions wasted on the NHS computer project and the failed Fire control centres! But we cannot find the money to honour the contracts freely entered into to fund public sector pensions!

Frankly it stinks!

Just remember public sector workers are tax payers to!

  justme 22:38 26 Nov 2011


I compared the election of the MPs and the union ballot because in both the result was probably decided by less than 50% of those who were entitled to vote.

This has always been the case and the assumption is that all those non voters are evenly split between all the choices (whether that be two or more). This means that they effectively cancel out each other and do not affect the result of the vote.

Of course this assumption is probably wrong, but no more so than assuming all of those who did not vote support one or other of the options. The truth is somewhere in between these assumptions, but as they did not bother to vote we have no way of knowing just where the real answer lies.

The Government ( and Lucky1) are raising the point that the percentage of eligible voters who did vote was in many cases quite small. I merely questioned how many MPs are elected by similar small turnouts.

All MPs can claim that they were elected because they received the most votes. Some MPs can claim that they received more than half the total votes cast. But I wonder just how many MPs can claim that they received the votes of more than half the electorate (whether they voted or not).

I should imagine that very few of them can make the last claim and that the Government seem to want a special system of voting for unions but keep the old system for getting themselves elected.

If the Government were to say that the unions must have more than 50% of their members vote for a strike and that MPs should only be elected if more than 50% of the electorate voted for them then I would wholeheartedly support them. However the House of Commons would be very empty if that was the case.

  Woolwell 22:58 26 Nov 2011

Flak999 perhaps you should read this article

Guardian that states that you have some of your facts wrong.

  bremner 23:03 26 Nov 2011


You paid 11% for your pension.

Many of the public sector workers who are planning to strike pay 1.5% and are being asked to increase this to 3.5%. I have limited sympathy.

As for AitchBees comments - the Government has a mandate from the country i.e. "the masses", not just the 75% of the 25% of the trade unionists who could be bothered to vote, for its austerity cuts as it won the election in 2010 saying it would do so.

How do yo think the deficit can be reduced if not through the public sector. Do you really want us to be like Greece, Ireland and Italy?

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