Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Striking Issues: We're all just trying to get through life...

ATN: Public and private sector:

Please stop buying into the narratives created by the political classes. We aren't against each other. We are all being attacked by cuts to our public sector, by increased food prices, redundancies, etc... It doesn't matter what sector you are in.

It's disgusting that it's illegal to hold a general strike that would gave the power to unify us and allow us to insist on an ate alternative. Our unelected government do not have a mandate to dismantle/privatise the welfare state. They are holding us to account rather than the banks and corporations. Nothing is being done to address the terrible inequality of the super rich having so much.

In terms of strikes. Yes, it is a hard choice. There are no perfect options. Yes, we ALL deserve to be treated better. Yes, much of what we have is unsustainable in terms if resources and environmental impact. Yes, the poorest are really badly affected by public service strikes. Just as they are by private service strikes. Most people don't strike lightly. They lose their pay. It is a right to withdraw your labour. A right I believe should be extended to everyone, union member or not.

Everyone is just trying to get through life! Let's stop squabbling and respect peoples decisions. If you are on strike I understand that decision. If you choose to break the strike I understand your decision. Neither option is ideal.

Let's stop all this nonsense and remember who the people with the REAL power are. Let's start saying: "after you've addressed all the other places money can be found, like tax avoidance, Robin Hood/Tobin tax, making the banks pay us back, cutting slower, cutting differently, fair income tax etc... THEN we can talk about cutting public services.Then we can consider the problem of pensions for an ageing population!"

And of course the 1% and the top tiers of the 99% are just people too. The thing is it is wrong for so few people to have so much. Money is just a tool for organising society. It isn't meaningful in itself. It is a fiction we write. And we can rewrite it. Or we would be able to if we could get hold of the pens.

And how about we approach industrial relations with respect?

Teachers could perhaps be offered more time and less paperwork in exchange for cuts. Public service workers could be offered free transport to and from work to offset the changes to their previously agreed terms. It is hard to have agreed to something, worked with that understanding for years and have it changed by someone with better conditions to you.

We need to move forward with empathy, understanding and the aim to make things more fair and equal. Our political classes and others with power are failing to do this. Let's lead by example and show then how they should behave by taking this approach to each other.

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