Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Union Debate


I write not today to press an opinion on the public sector strikes; I have enough friends on both sides and I do not wish to partake in this debate and have kept many of my opinions of it to myself. I write today to talk about the Unions who push for these strikes and how I disagree with the Unions and not those on strike.

After my research at University and my past experience with them myself and through my nearest and dearest, I have become increasingly disgusted with the unions who supposedly hold our welfare and our rights so dear to them. A friend of mine who is a teacher wondered whether to strike; he couldn't afford to take the day off work and he didn't really feel the strike was justified, but his union turned around and told him that if he didn't strike he shouldn't bother coming to them for help again in the future, despite them taking some of his salary every month so that they will be there to support him should the time come. I would be horrified but after studying organisations such as Unite and other unions, I am more than aware of their reputations.

Unite, a union always in the news, particularly for their association with British Airways staff, have on numerous occasions accused companies of bullying their staff, and yet Unite have infamously 'named and shamed' those who haven't gone on strike and actively encouraged union members to bully those who dare not go on strike. Many unions have also had alternative motives to strike (especially with Unite with their links with the Labour government) and is not always for the concern of the workers who have lost their pay to fight.

I realize that unions can be a lot of good; I realize there has to be a balance and that they have brought justice because sometimes an organisation is in the wrong. I also believe that when your employer is the government that yes there should be someone there to make sure that the workers have their say. But some of the horrific counts of bullying have made me never want to join a Union. As someone with quite unitary views, I see joining a union as distancing myself away from my employer, rather being a part of the company who have employed me. I also don't hold it against others for joining them as that is their right and they hold differing views to mine. Maybe I have just had good employers who have embraced their employees and maybe my views will change in the future, but for now I commit to not being a part of a union and embrace the organisation I work within rather than fight against it.

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