Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Call You and Yours: Do Strikes Work?

Yesterday lunchtime there was a debate on the Radio 4 programme "You and Yours" on "Do Strikes Work?"

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis was a guest with Ed Holmes, from the hard right Tory think tank "Policy Exchange".

I rang into the programme and was able to say (about 9 minutes in) that strikes can work if they are a last resort and if the membership is behind it.  I pointed out my own example of a "successful" strike. I took part in a month long strike to stop cuts in local housing offices and staff redundancies.  In the end we were able to hammer out a compromise which saved people's jobs. 

UNISON John Burgess also rang in from yesterday's picket line in Barnet.

One of the (many) irritating things that Ed Holmes kept saying during the programme was that public service pensions were "over generous"....  if I work for 40 years the maximum pension I will get is just over half pay and a lump sum around 1.5 x my final salary.  I am currently contributing nearly £200 per month - so is a half pay pension "over generous"? Is he saying it should it be less?


robert guzder said...

The comments by Ed Holmes were infuriating. "Public sector workers are fundamentally overpaid"?
I think Dave Prentis did fairly well in putting across our points in a measured way, but there would have been nothing wrong with him showing some passion and fury at the lies being told.

John Gray said...

Hi Robert

Actually I think it was better for Dave to keep his cool and to be calm and objective. Activists (including myself)love table thumping and grand passionate sweeping speeches. But, the Great British Public doesn't. It turns them off.

We have such a strong argument that if we can just make people listen to us - we can win them over.

Remember we are fighting years of lies and distortions by the Daily Hates, the tax evaders alliance and now the Policy Exchange.