The unions leaders that called strikes today have not only caused serious disruption but in some cases have put lives at risk.
At the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting this morning we heard that front line police officers had to cover call centres because many of the civilian support staff had not come in to work. I have a serious issue with strikes that put lives at risk.
The fact that these strikes were called while pension negotiations were still taking places shows that for some union leaders this is more about the fight than the victory.
I wrote a little while ago that the unions are in danger of showing themselves to be obsolete and out of touch. The recent strike threats by the RMT are a case in point. Two Tube workers were sacked by London Underground and their cases were taken to an employment tribunal. Before the tribunal had even reached its conclusions Bob Crow threatened to strike and demanded the two employees were reinstated.
The tribunal found in favour of the two sacked workers and they were given their jobs back. There may be questions to answer about why London Underground sacked them in the first place but the more important point is that their rights were protected by the law, not the union.
Changing demographics and longer life expectancy means that the current model of public sector pensions is unsustainable, most people understand that. The solution will be found through negotiation not a few militant union bosses jumping on the first excuse they could find to call a strike.
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