Isn\’t this Olympic thing going well?

Up to 5,500 immigration officials will strike next Thursday in a dispute about job cuts and pay, disrupting nearly 130,000 passengers as they arrive the day before the Olympic opening ceremony.

Yes, of course people have the right to withdraw their labour. They have both the legal and moral right to strike.

We also have the moral (and legal, there is no law against this) right to react to such blackmail as we see fit.

For it is obviously blackmail. The day of the strike has not been chosen at random, it is clearly and obviously an attempt to capitalise upon the Olympics.

My suggestion would be slightly difficult to organise as there\’s no obvious identifying mark of who is a border patrol officer who is striking in this blackmail attempt. But if it were possible to identify them I would argue that we should simply withdraw our labour from them.

No pints in a pub, no sarnies from a cafe, no workmen coming around to fix the house. No petrol from the garage, a refusal to allow them on public transport. Quite simply, they do indeed have the right to withdraw their labour from the market over our treatment of them. I stand by their right to do that as well. All I am suggesting is that we also have the right to withdraw our labour from them over their treatment of us.

They blackmail us, we blacklist them.

13 comments on “Isn\’t this Olympic thing going well?

  1. What an excellent suggestion! No petrol and no public transport would certainly prevent from from coming back to work.

    But how to ensure we’re blacklisting the right people? Maybe we should compel them to wear an armband with a distinctive colourful design?

  2. @P
    Why not a distinctive yellow star? (Sarcasm!)After all ,objecting to the government’s austerity drive during times of national bread and circuses (the Jubilee was a bit of a flop as a diversion)is hardly very British is it?
    Dunno how TW knows so much about it,living in Portugal.Perhaps he should come back like the Evelyn Waugh character in the General Strike (sorry a reference to the Arts)and take a hand at strike breaking.
    All these(ever so”Scientific”) neo-liberal theories are coming well and truly unstuck.As is the neo-colonial intervention theory whereby miltary meatheads interfere in Islamic countries causing panic subsequently over Olympic security.

  3. Why not just come out and say that you *don’t* support their right to strike, that would at least be more honest than this childish, neoliberalist wankery.

    Luckily though, as you admit, your suggestion is impractical.

    Workers unite!

  4. Sounds like a good idea Tim. However the only people I could identify would be union bosses – not the workers on annual leave, on shift working, or simply not working at all for the particular agency.

  5. “For it is obviously blackmail.”

    Well, of course it is! They saw the RMT & the bus drivers win that one, after all. So now it’s a free-for-all!

  6. They have both the legal and moral right to strike.

    And their employers have a moral right – and should also have a legal right – to sack the idle tossers and give their jobs to people who are prepared to work.

  7. It’s not blackmail.

    I don’t know why in principle strikers should choose a day at random. They will obviously choose a day that they think maximises their leverage (for want of a better phrase). How else can it work? They should choose a day when it’s least inconvenient to their employer? Seems a bit weird. If we say people should have the right to withdraw their labour, it seems to me that comes with a right to choose when to do it.

  8. Next time you go through immigration, just after they give you the go ahead nod, tell them what you think of them.

  9. Hmmm…. will things be like the last lot of strikes I can recall around here?
    Over 6 months ago, council workers had a strike. I never noticed. What percentage of the front line workers employed voted to strike? Figure only a portion of those will actually strike maybe?

  10. This suggestion is far from original – cannot anyone else remember Mrs and Miss Kite deciding to withdraw labour in “I’m All Right, Jack” leaving Kite (Peter Sellers) having to do his own housework?

  11. My wife used to work in the accounts department of a medium sized engineering firm, doing the payrolls. She was in a different union than the main factory workers who decided to go on strike for higher wages at a particularly vulnerable period in the firm’s bidding for a contract. Despite pleas from the management, and other departments, the engineers union stuck to theit threat. Of course, the union was blackmailing the firm which, sadly, gave in. However, the resultant dispute meant the firm lost the contract and put them back more than two years in their planned growth. A few days before the end of the month (and payday), the accounts department stated they were going on strike the following day in protest at the engineers actions. Despite the engineers pleas, the accounts department stuck to their guns and stayed out for 4 days – which meant the engineers didn’t receive their pay as normal! For the rest of the time she worked there, there were no union problems. Funny that!

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