Are the trade unions about to sell us out?
I have clearly misjudged the pension’s dispute. Whilst I did not expect to see the trade union leaders take us into to a full scale revolution, I expected a bit more than what I am fearful we are about to get.
Having completed several of the pension calculators doing the rounds, I stand to be £250,000 worse off by the time I die, presuming I live to be 85 (I am 34 now). When I realised the size of the amount, and the impact that it would have on my life and that of my family, I decided that I would be prepared to go on strike for a prolonged period. Even if it crippled me in the short and medium term, the long term considerations far out weight them.
I am guilty of being a bit naïve, and probably fell for a bit of the bluster, wind and piss that ‘tin pot’ union leaders like Barber, and Prentis have been giving us. Although I am well aware of the long history of treachery from the unions, I thought that this time might be different. Capitulation was likely at some point, but not before the government had received a bloody nose, and not before we won some decent concessions. How wrong was I?
I am well aware that not all trade unions have shown their hand yet, and that others such as the PCS have rejected the ‘insult’ that was the last offer, but I am disgusted at the stance of the UNISON leadership.
Christina McAnea, the UNISON Head of Health has said that, “We always knew it would be a damage limitation exercise, aimed at reducing the worst impacts of the government’s pension changes”.
Did we really know that? The offer that you are about to sign up to was offered before we even went on strike, so what has striking achieved? Absolutely nothing is what it has achieved. You have shown nothing but contempt for the 2,000,000 workers who went on strike, and lost a day’s pay that most of them could ill afford, when you were going to sign up to a deal anyway.
As I said, all is not lost yet, as I am sure that several other unions will not give in yet. Unfortunately, if UNISON sign up, then the government has inserted a huge wedge between the trade union movement, which they will use to prise us further apart.
I am unsure as to the exact position as to whether UNISON members will be balloted on this. If they are not, and the decision to accept the deal is taken by a bunch of faceless bureaucrats, I will be absolutely fucking disgusted, and sick to the pit of my stomach.
Whilst I may attract much criticism for saying it, if the trade unions sell me, my family, and my class down the river over this issue. I will never ever work with them again, and I will not pay them anymore money. I for one will not have a ‘trade union membership without illusions’.
I really hope I am wrong.