Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trade Unions

I've always been a member of a Trade Union. They fulfill an important role, in my opinion.

Now I'm not, and its weird. I'm in a "non-union industry", like electronics and other sunrise industries.
Am I a being awkward if I make noises about trade union-type issues as they pertain to me?? (rhetorical question!)
Am I being subversive? ( have recently been introduced to that word and I like it. Then I looked it up on dictionary.com and found it can mean treacherous, traitorous and destructive!)

Answers on a postcard, please.
What do you think of trade unions ? A thorn in the side to management or grassroots workers' movement? Have you ever belonged to one?

(me: BIFU - banking and finance union - pffft, have experieced tea that is stronger)
then UNISON - public service. Too large to be effective in my mind
then EIS - teaching union. Always been incredibly helpful to me. Screwed up a bit on the McCrone agreement, my personal view!)

7 comments:

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  2. Cannot spell. I am a member of the Baptist Union - does that count. Subversive is only seen as negative by the established principalities (this was the word I had trouble with) and powers who have something to protect and or lose.

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  3. I worked in the shipyards and it jaded my view of trade unions. Demarcation - where only certain people could do certain jobs, and only certain people were allowed to learn how to do certain jobs, was rigidly enforced by the unions and was a killer to productivity.
    And yet every year the management went all out get another pound of flesh from the workers at the annual pay review. What would they have got away with if there hadn't been union representation?
    It's nearly 10 years since I left so things might be different now.
    Anyway, I'm equivocal.

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  4. Stuart - yes, I think the BU functions as a workplace union does in that as an accredited minister, you have some basic entitlements to a minimum stipend, some kind of insurance cover and pension arrangements...is that right?

    Guess you don't have shop stewards though.

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  5. when I saw there were comments on this post I thought, "I bet henry and Stuart have said something". So thanks for not disapointing me.

    I'm with Stuart on his understanding on Subversive. Another misunderstood word is anarchy - but that deserves a proper post!

    I think when unions work well they can be a very good thing, but the issues I raised in my post on elites and the church, also apply to organisations like unions.

    The BU or BUS should not IMHO be thought of as a union in the traditional sense as not anyone can join and therefore have the rights they offer extended to them.

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  7. Anonymous11:30 PM

    If Union means the state of being joined or united or linked then I think being in a union can be a good thing. Especially when you read reports on websites like banana link (www,bananalink.org.uk) or hear someone speak that has been through horrific experiences at the hands of their employers (I heard a banana plantation worker speaking once).

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