A shared sacrifice? Get real ….

Throughout the current labour dispute, I keep hearing the call for a ‘shared sacrifice’ and, frankly, when I do hear it feel like exploding in sheer anger.
If people actually took a minute to open their eyes and look beyond their noses they might see where the sacrifices have already been made: the empty shops, the empty offices, the exodus to the UK.
As Finance Minister Bob Richards says no Government employee has been laid off. I can tell you that in the private sector people have been laid off and their colleagues are still taking furloughs or pay cuts.
They have made the sacrifice and if my business, which I have built from scratch, is affected by this I shall never forget or forgive those responsible – responsible for robbing me of a livelihood that supports my family.

Now, some questions about this dispute.
1. I’ve read and listened but cannot find an explanation of what this dispute is actually about. What else, apart from furlough days, are the unions protesting about? Is it a 19pc hike in health insurance as well?
2. The strike is now (officially) illegal. What happens now?
3. Have the union members ever been consulted/taken a vote, or is this being driven by the leadership of the unions involved?
4. How many of you are now dusting off your plan Bs?

Here is a snippet of the conversation that is going on out there (in the real world that is.)

Person

I love all this hoopla over the furlough day. It blows my mind. If the day comes when we default on our loans you will see how bad things can get. Bite the hand that feeds you much. The furlough day is one of the easiest solutions. The unions are just full of stupid. And Rev Tweed just needs to shut the hell up. Where did you get your economics degree mate? Nice irrelevant rant. The ship is sinking. You don’t bitch about what kind of lifeboat saves you. BTW, I have been subject to furlough days for the last year and a bit. If you can’t get by on a 5% cut you need to reorganize your priorities. If you want to blame someone, go bang on Ewart’s door and ask where your money went.

Person 2: I do understand that things are tight for families especially when overtime or one partner’s job has disappeared. The problem with industrial action is that people find alternatives and sometimes never return e.g. Devonshire Post Office is closed until further notice. What is the point of buying Birthday Cards when you cannot send them? So use an e-card – convenient, cheaper and delivered on time etc.

Person 3: Here’s a thought. The PRIVATE business PAYS for the Government salaries. Private sector not only has had to reduce pay 10%, 20% or more, multiple days unpaid a month, redundancies and flat out having to close up shop, but they still have to pay those Gov salaries? What part of no money to pay you don’t you get? I work 7 days a week for a least 4 small companies, because you know what? That’s what you have to do: WORK. Reality bites. Trust me I know.

And another post:

So if people boycott this business what do you think happens to the workers of that company if no revenue is generated. How many workers will that impact. How many homes? How many children? I have no problem with people being pissed and I understand the normal human emotion to want to hurt those that hurt you but let’s be real here. Dunkleys is not hurting us. Michael Dunkley isn’t hurting us. ET Bob Richards isn’t hurting us. The financial storm that the island is under is what is hurting us. Instead of us making everything we find unfair a personal stab to us take your anger and go to the cabinet with positive solutions. Not a stupid and senseless boycott. I’m a government worker and I’m pissed. Hell yes I’m pissed. But stupid I’m not. Unrealistic I am not and selfish i am not. Boycotting a company that clearly employes people is definitely stupid, unrealistic, and selfish. And Fyi boycotting dunkleys won’t change the issue that government is in the hole. If Michael dunkley and the oba were no longer in power tomorrow do you think the public purse would mercilessly come out of negative balance. Or would whoever and whatever party in its place still have a debt problem to clean up.

10 thoughts on “A shared sacrifice? Get real ….

Add yours

  1. I think it’s a shame that people resort to ‘sane/insane’ references simply because they disagree with this or that… You have a different class perspective – doesn’t make you more sane than others, or those you disagree with insane.

    1. It was a turn of phrase. Yes., I have a different class perspected JS, but I’ve also sacrificed – pay cuts/no rises/furloughs etc so when I see the words ‘shared sacrifices’ I tend to get a little tetchy …

  2. Now, it’s partly about Government dictating the extension of the furlough days – which were a voluntary agreement from the unions which was always due to expire in March – and frustration with the Government refusing to entertain alternative approaches to cost saving and/or revenue generation. This is demonstrated in the unions being the only ones putting forward substantial cost saving proposals while Government did not do the same, and then abruptly ended the process of developing ideas.

    It’s also about the lack of respect in general towards organised labour and a release of tension that’s been building up between Government and the workers for quite some time. The unions have expressed constant disappointment in the lack of consultation and the growing trust deficit with the Government for well over a year now.

    The only surprise really is that the unions haven’t taken such action until now. If anyone’s surprised by the current action then they’ve not been paying attention for some time now.

    The strike is not officially illegal. For one thing, it’s not a strike, it’s a meeting of the membership. Sure, a bit of legalese there, and I’m sure the Government is gonna argue it’s a strike and so subject to section 19 of the Labour Disputes Act. Secondly, it’s open to debate whether one can refer to arbitration the matter of furlough days. Remember, they were a voluntary act by the workers, not something forced on them. They were always supposed to end this March. They are not subject to the collective bargaining agreements, etc. So I’m not sure how one can take them to arbitration.

    If the workers have not voted then they should seek out their officers and shop stewards on this. The Executive does have the authority for some actions, and can be held accountable later by the membership. So that’s something the union members need to address themselves. It would seem many are voting with their feet by continuing to participate in mass action. If they disagreed they wouldn’t be showing up.

    The unions are well aware of the economic situation of the Government. They’ve been actively seeking ways to assist. In fact, they’ve been about the only ones taking it seriously, with Government not contributing constructively there. The furlough days were always a temporary measure and Government should have been actively seeking alternative cost-savings or approaching the unions about furlough days over a year ago. The failure to address that is the Government’s, not the unions.

    I don’t know who’s behind the proposed boycott. It’s not sanctioned by any of the unions involved and would appear to be a spontaneous idea. That needs stressed.

      1. Ironically I left for Scotland (just for a few weeks) the Friday before this. So I’m kinda miffed I’m not there to participate… 😦 Perhaps when I get back. If there’s a revolution in the mean time I’ll be home sooner! 😉

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