Today millions of my fellow public sector workers went on strike to protest about plans to make them work longer, and pay more towards their pensions. Sing along (to the tune of ‘White Christmas’)-
I’m dreaming of a fair pension
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the coffers glistened
and Mps might have listened
Before the bankers stole our dough…
I have been a member of a Union most of my working life- but at present, I am not. I joined the British Association of Social Workers a couple of years ago in disgust at my local Union’s refusal to support some of the lowest paid members of my staff. I wrote in protest to the branch secretary and did not even receive a reply, so I felt I had no option.
Which left me in something of a quandary today- a manager of services to vulnerable people, outside a Union. In the end, I decided to work.
I decided that I would not cross a picket line- but there were none, so this was an easy thing to get around. My conscience is still twitching uncomfortably. That word- solidarity…
In the end however, I think I decided that I just did not feel strongly enough about this issue to want to man the barricades. Whilst I would strongly defend the rights of workers to protest inequity and harsh treatment by their employers, I personally don’t feel the sting of anger about my own pension situation.
Many other things about our present government do make me angry. For instance, the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government recently announced a typical mindless sweetener used by all governments forcing through austerity cuts- they are going to spend money on job creation schemes, £1 billion in fact.
Sounds great- although experience might tell us that these schemes simply do not work- at best they mask the rising unemployment figures.
Worse than this, the government are going to pay for this by taking money from Working Families Tax Credit- which is a benefit paid through the tax system to low income families.
You could say that they are going to rob the poor in order to spend money to pretend that there is work for young people.
This at a time when the richest parts of society are doing nicely thank you.
The gods of capitalism must be appeased. Lets make a few more human sacrifices.
Now this is something that makes me angry. This is something I would strike about.