Skip to content

But why should public employees have the right to strike?

Or even a union?

And then around 20% of all workers in the UK will have lost the right to strike. Their ability to force their employer to take their pay claims seriously will have gone.

The point of a union, of a strike, is to be able to, err, strike back at an oppressive employer.

But the state is wise, benevolent, omniscient. It should, according to Sud, determine who works where, doing what, living in what type of house, edit our diets and all the rest. Anyone who argues back at this is a fascist.

So, why aren’t public sector unions fascists for disagreeing with the decisions of a democractic government?

16 thoughts on “But why should public employees have the right to strike?”

  1. They have a vote, don’t they? What are they complaining about? All hail the mighty Vote, bringer of Democracy, solver of all things!

  2. If employees are being paid less than they could get elsewhere, they don’t need to strike. They can just go elsewhere. The employer would then get the message wouldn’t it? Except the State is highly selective as to which messages it is receptive to.

  3. How about a compromise. They can have the right to strike in return for their pension schemes being converted to define contribution schemes. Like in the private sector.


  4. The whole point of being a “public employee” is to avoid work once you’re past the Junior stage, while being mostly unaccountable for the slacking off that you do.
    With iron-clad perks, pensions and possible peacocking with Importance to boot.

    Most of them wouldn’t last a month if they had to do actual work, so why should they be paid like they’re doing actual work?

  5. Give us more referenda, Swiss-style. Let the teachers / nurses / etc can call a referendum on pay rises. Would be interesting to see how that pans out.

  6. I want to know when they are going to cull other ‘workers rights’ like paid holidays and sick leave?

  7. Even the totalitarian FDR wouldn’t allow unionisation of federal employees. Though you could argue that all he was doing was accepting that socialism (or whatever you want to call his variety of politics) was incompatible with trade unionism – which is obviously true in general.

    Does that mean that generations of European socialists were mistaken on this point? Yes, of course. The old among us might remember when the penny dropped for Harold Wilson and Barbara Castle.

  8. “The old among us might remember when the penny dropped for Harold Wilson and Barbara Castle.”

    Indeed, I remember it well. I also remember the deluge of shit that the TUC and Unions dropped on the Government when ‘In Place of Strife’ was published. Neither Wilson nor Castle repeated that mistake. Neither did Callaghan; he preferred the Winter of Discontent to taking on the Unions.

  9. Better question – why are 20 percent of the working population in the public sector?

  10. LOL

    Anyone who wants to hear the future (or more accurately the distant past) of AI in audio should listen to Murphy’s new audio series. A more halting, robotic delivery would be hard to imagine. It’s almost like the old days of cutting and splicing sections of cassette tapes together. The speaking clock had more fluency and charisma.

    https://[email protected]/Blog/2023/05/09/the-account/

  11. Dearieme, Decnine: I think the place to go for a stroll down memory lane is here. Peter Jenkins may even disclose the identity of the wag who said that Mr Solomon Binding sounded like a character from a novel by George Eliot. I don’t recall that, as I was only just starting primary school at the time.

  12. Devil’s Kitchen

    So, why aren’t public sector unions fascists for disagreeing with the decisions of a democractic government?

    Because this isn’t a “real” democratic government, Timothy. As you well know, this is a collection of evil Tories who seem to have found themselves in power somehow. It’s a completely different thing.

    It’s only a real democratic government when Spud says it is. I really shouldn’t have to explain this.



  13. Perhaps, salamander, there is a halfway house, and that is that public sector workers who sign up to no strikes and non-unionisation retain their existing pension rights, but workers who want to be in a union and have the right to strike got a (much) lesser ’employer contribution’ to their pension rights, and therefore much lower eventual pensions.

  14. Problem, they’d strike to demand a higher pension on par with the non-strikers. Can’t have people doing the same job getting different compensation.

  15. I once found myself in negotiations with a union on a US Department of Defense contract. We were paid, of course, with our burden and fee on top of our loaded labor rates. So, other than principle, we had little incentive to keep the costs down. So, yes, that was an inappropriate situation for a the govt contractors to be unionized with a CBA. Or, at least having the company involved in negotiations.

  16. The background question is, I think, more interesting.

    Why do unions exist as anything other than companies which provide services to their members, with all the responsibilities of companies?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *