Firefighters to strike over Bank Holiday weekend over pensions dispute

Firefighters to strike over Bank Holiday

Firefighters to strike over Bank Holiday

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

FIREFIGHTERS across Hampshire are set to hold more strikes as a row over pensions rolls on.

The Fire Brigades Union has announced further industrial action will take place between midday and 5pm on May 2, between 2pm and 2am on May 3, and between 10am and 3pm on May 4.

It comes after the last round of strikes in early January.

A ban on voluntary overtime will be in place across England and Wales from 3pm on May 4 until midday on May 9.

Firefighters have been striking over government plans to raise the age of retirement from 55 to 60 and increase pension contributions.

Negotiations between the FBU and the Department for Communities and Local Government have been taking place for three years.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes into account the unique occupation of firefighting, the government is still burying its head in the sand.

“Several members of government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.

“Nevertheless, we remain totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation, and are ready to meet to consider a workable proposal as soon as possible.”

Comments (22)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:43pm Thu 24 Apr 14

theburrower says...

I assume the ban on overtime will give more time for their second jobs.
I assume the ban on overtime will give more time for their second jobs. theburrower
  • Score: -4

4:47pm Thu 24 Apr 14

George4th says...

It's all very well for the Unions to bring unfair pressure to bare on the current government but we haven't got the money!! We are effectively broke!! Our level of indebtedness is just about the highest in the western world!

It's the Union's friends, the Labour Party, who got us into this mess!

Firemen earn above the average wage plus overtime! (Can earn a lot more with promotion).
They mostly work 4 days on and 4 days off (as a result, many have other "jobs").
They get a Final Salary pension!
About 9 weeks holiday a year!
Plus all sorts of other benefits.
It's a very good deal.

Would be interesting to see the full package!
It's all very well for the Unions to bring unfair pressure to bare on the current government but we haven't got the money!! We are effectively broke!! Our level of indebtedness is just about the highest in the western world! It's the Union's friends, the Labour Party, who got us into this mess! Firemen earn above the average wage plus overtime! (Can earn a lot more with promotion). They mostly work 4 days on and 4 days off (as a result, many have other "jobs"). They get a Final Salary pension! About 9 weeks holiday a year! Plus all sorts of other benefits. It's a very good deal. Would be interesting to see the full package! George4th
  • Score: -8

5:44pm Thu 24 Apr 14

issacchunt says...

FBU? More like FU general public. Wait for the idiots to kick off quoting 'you won't say that when your house is on fire"?

Lets hope no bodies house is on fire while they refuse to work and strike instead. Unexcusable.
FBU? More like FU general public. Wait for the idiots to kick off quoting 'you won't say that when your house is on fire"? Lets hope no bodies house is on fire while they refuse to work and strike instead. Unexcusable. issacchunt
  • Score: -13

5:45pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Mary80 says...

Sadly in the current climate everyone has to tighten the purse strings EVERYONE is affected not just school teachers or firemen
Sadly in the current climate everyone has to tighten the purse strings EVERYONE is affected not just school teachers or firemen Mary80
  • Score: -2

6:43pm Thu 24 Apr 14

PracticoJoe says...

Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !!
Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !! PracticoJoe
  • Score: -1

7:12pm Thu 24 Apr 14

issacchunt says...

PracticoJoe wrote:
Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !!
A decent Un - emotive common sense post. Thank you.
[quote][p][bold]PracticoJoe[/bold] wrote: Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !![/p][/quote]A decent Un - emotive common sense post. Thank you. issacchunt
  • Score: 1

7:40pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Maine Lobster says...

issacchunt wrote:
PracticoJoe wrote:
Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !!
A decent Un - emotive common sense post. Thank you.
Perhaps you might learn from it!
[quote][p][bold]issacchunt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PracticoJoe[/bold] wrote: Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !![/p][/quote]A decent Un - emotive common sense post. Thank you.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you might learn from it! Maine Lobster
  • Score: 5

7:48pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Maine Lobster says...

PracticoJoe wrote:
Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !!
Of course as a police officer you don't have the right to strike. Perhaps that is why you had little chance of success. The Government is betraying public sector workers across the board,raising their pension ages while requiring them to pay more and receive less. Of course at the same time,MP's have the most lucrative scheme in public services and that has remained untouched by public sector cuts- coincidence? I think not! Still, at least big business and bankers can still get their perks because they fund Cameron's party!
[quote][p][bold]PracticoJoe[/bold] wrote: Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !![/p][/quote]Of course as a police officer you don't have the right to strike. Perhaps that is why you had little chance of success. The Government is betraying public sector workers across the board,raising their pension ages while requiring them to pay more and receive less. Of course at the same time,MP's have the most lucrative scheme in public services and that has remained untouched by public sector cuts- coincidence? I think not! Still, at least big business and bankers can still get their perks because they fund Cameron's party! Maine Lobster
  • Score: 4

7:55pm Thu 24 Apr 14

IronLady2010 says...

Going on strike achieves nothing.
Going on strike achieves nothing. IronLady2010
  • Score: -5

8:03pm Thu 24 Apr 14

PracticoJoe says...

Maine Lobster wrote:
PracticoJoe wrote:
Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !!
Of course as a police officer you don't have the right to strike. Perhaps that is why you had little chance of success. The Government is betraying public sector workers across the board,raising their pension ages while requiring them to pay more and receive less. Of course at the same time,MP's have the most lucrative scheme in public services and that has remained untouched by public sector cuts- coincidence? I think not! Still, at least big business and bankers can still get their perks because they fund Cameron's party!
Maine Lobster - Yes, I agree re the policitans pensions and theres plenty of other perks and payments which go on. I also agree the public sector workers are paying the penalty for the financial mess ups of the past, unfairly Believe me, I support all of the public services in their fight for a fair deal. Despite this, I cannot see the FBU winning as the precedent has already been set with the police. The goverment started with the police as it was the easy option without the threat of strike action to worry about. The furore of the Police Federation issues certainly made the governments job far too easy. Lets see what happens and good luck to them. C'est la vie for me im afraid.
[quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PracticoJoe[/bold] wrote: Sorry to say that its a battle the FBU wont win. Im a police officer and the changes have gone through already. I joined in the 97 at the age of 20 on the basis of a thirty year career. Now had ten years added so I will now do 40 years. Pains me to say but I can understand why this has been done and no occupation can plead being a special case, the police tried and it failed. In comparison to alot of schemes, the pension still isnt bad so there little to moan about. I cant do a second job like some firefighters., i wouldnt say that there arent physical elements to their role but it doesnt happen every day by any means. I wouldnt mind working nights when nothing happens, rest and then do another job in the morning. As the police have found out, by far the majority of the public will not support the FBU's case and will lose any remaining support through strike action. Take whats on the table. You have a job and one which you hopefully enjoy !![/p][/quote]Of course as a police officer you don't have the right to strike. Perhaps that is why you had little chance of success. The Government is betraying public sector workers across the board,raising their pension ages while requiring them to pay more and receive less. Of course at the same time,MP's have the most lucrative scheme in public services and that has remained untouched by public sector cuts- coincidence? I think not! Still, at least big business and bankers can still get their perks because they fund Cameron's party![/p][/quote]Maine Lobster - Yes, I agree re the policitans pensions and theres plenty of other perks and payments which go on. I also agree the public sector workers are paying the penalty for the financial mess ups of the past, unfairly Believe me, I support all of the public services in their fight for a fair deal. Despite this, I cannot see the FBU winning as the precedent has already been set with the police. The goverment started with the police as it was the easy option without the threat of strike action to worry about. The furore of the Police Federation issues certainly made the governments job far too easy. Lets see what happens and good luck to them. C'est la vie for me im afraid. PracticoJoe
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Superior Being says...

theburrower wrote:
I assume the ban on overtime will give more time for their second jobs.
How is it a bad thing if someone has a second job??
[quote][p][bold]theburrower[/bold] wrote: I assume the ban on overtime will give more time for their second jobs.[/p][/quote]How is it a bad thing if someone has a second job?? Superior Being
  • Score: 4

9:27pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Maine Lobster says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Going on strike achieves nothing.
Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Going on strike achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers. Maine Lobster
  • Score: 6

9:44pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Nod says...

Just think of the money we're saving by the Firefighters going on Strike. Doing their bit to help the public purse by not getting paid. Well done lads.
Just think of the money we're saving by the Firefighters going on Strike. Doing their bit to help the public purse by not getting paid. Well done lads. Nod
  • Score: -3

11:03pm Thu 24 Apr 14

sparkster says...

\i agree with IronLady2010 going on strike achieves nothing
\i agree with IronLady2010 going on strike achieves nothing sparkster
  • Score: -5

12:20pm Fri 25 Apr 14

IronLady2010 says...

Maine Lobster wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Going on strike achieves nothing.
Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.
I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line.

Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere?

Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services.

I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.
[quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Going on strike achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.[/p][/quote]I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line. Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere? Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services. I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools. IronLady2010
  • Score: 3

2:51pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Charlie Bucket says...

sparkster wrote:
\i agree with IronLady2010 going on strike achieves nothing
It's not a matter of opinion, though. There are plenty of documented cases of strikes being very successful. As they say, "there's no point saying pigs can't fly, when you see them catching pigeons"
[quote][p][bold]sparkster[/bold] wrote: \i agree with IronLady2010 going on strike achieves nothing[/p][/quote]It's not a matter of opinion, though. There are plenty of documented cases of strikes being very successful. As they say, "there's no point saying pigs can't fly, when you see them catching pigeons" Charlie Bucket
  • Score: 1

3:01pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Charlie Bucket says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Going on strike achieves nothing.
Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.
I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line.

Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere?

Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services.

I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.
Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action.

You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms?

Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Going on strike achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.[/p][/quote]I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line. Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere? Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services. I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.[/p][/quote]Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action. You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms? Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms. Charlie Bucket
  • Score: 2

3:07pm Fri 25 Apr 14

IronLady2010 says...

Charlie Bucket wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Going on strike achieves nothing.
Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.
I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line.

Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere?

Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services.

I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.
Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action.

You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms?

Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.
I can't disagree with you.

My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not.

Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want.
[quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Going on strike achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.[/p][/quote]I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line. Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere? Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services. I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.[/p][/quote]Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action. You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms? Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.[/p][/quote]I can't disagree with you. My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not. Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want. IronLady2010
  • Score: 3

3:11pm Fri 25 Apr 14

IronLady2010 says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Charlie Bucket wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Going on strike achieves nothing.
Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.
I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line.

Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere?

Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services.

I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.
Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action.

You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms?

Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.
I can't disagree with you.

My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not.

Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want.
Just to add, when it comes to strike action it means the relationship between employee and employer has broke down. Surely this is time to move on as once you don't trust your employer, you will struggle to be motivated.

Just my opinion, but feel if you need to strike, you aren't happy with your work place and time to move on to bigger and better ventures?
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Going on strike achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.[/p][/quote]I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line. Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere? Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services. I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.[/p][/quote]Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action. You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms? Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.[/p][/quote]I can't disagree with you. My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not. Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want.[/p][/quote]Just to add, when it comes to strike action it means the relationship between employee and employer has broke down. Surely this is time to move on as once you don't trust your employer, you will struggle to be motivated. Just my opinion, but feel if you need to strike, you aren't happy with your work place and time to move on to bigger and better ventures? IronLady2010
  • Score: 2

7:29pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Charlie Bucket says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Charlie Bucket wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Going on strike achieves nothing.
Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.
I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line.

Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere?

Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services.

I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.
Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action.

You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms?

Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.
I can't disagree with you.

My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not.

Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want.
Just to add, when it comes to strike action it means the relationship between employee and employer has broke down. Surely this is time to move on as once you don't trust your employer, you will struggle to be motivated.

Just my opinion, but feel if you need to strike, you aren't happy with your work place and time to move on to bigger and better ventures?
While I would behave the same as you, I do see why people strike, and in fact in many ways they're being more reasonable than you or I. The deal of a strike is "improve matters and we return to work", whereas simply leaving closes that door with no opportunity for the employer to rectify matters.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Going on strike achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.[/p][/quote]I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line. Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere? Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services. I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.[/p][/quote]Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action. You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms? Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.[/p][/quote]I can't disagree with you. My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not. Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want.[/p][/quote]Just to add, when it comes to strike action it means the relationship between employee and employer has broke down. Surely this is time to move on as once you don't trust your employer, you will struggle to be motivated. Just my opinion, but feel if you need to strike, you aren't happy with your work place and time to move on to bigger and better ventures?[/p][/quote]While I would behave the same as you, I do see why people strike, and in fact in many ways they're being more reasonable than you or I. The deal of a strike is "improve matters and we return to work", whereas simply leaving closes that door with no opportunity for the employer to rectify matters. Charlie Bucket
  • Score: 1

7:55pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Joseph Public says...

NHS staff have (quietly) suffered a similar pension change - increase in retirement age and an annual increase in contributions for, I believe, the third year running. Theirs is based on a 40 year career but yes, it is a final salary scheme (for the moment) and others in the private sector would wish for the same. Think yourselves lucky for such public sector schemes.

That being said, I have a degree of sympathy with the FBU. Continued service is, I understand, dependant upon fitness level which will be harder to achieve for an older firefighter. If he/she cannot meet the standard will they be retired and lose entitlement to some of the full pension? If they are being set up to fail, then that is unfair.
NHS staff have (quietly) suffered a similar pension change - increase in retirement age and an annual increase in contributions for, I believe, the third year running. Theirs is based on a 40 year career but yes, it is a final salary scheme (for the moment) and others in the private sector would wish for the same. Think yourselves lucky for such public sector schemes. That being said, I have a degree of sympathy with the FBU. Continued service is, I understand, dependant upon fitness level which will be harder to achieve for an older firefighter. If he/she cannot meet the standard will they be retired and lose entitlement to some of the full pension? If they are being set up to fail, then that is unfair. Joseph Public
  • Score: 1

9:54am Sat 26 Apr 14

Maine Lobster says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Charlie Bucket wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Going on strike achieves nothing.
Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.
I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line.

Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere?

Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services.

I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.
Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action.

You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms?

Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.
I can't disagree with you.

My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not.

Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want.
Just to add, when it comes to strike action it means the relationship between employee and employer has broke down. Surely this is time to move on as once you don't trust your employer, you will struggle to be motivated.

Just my opinion, but feel if you need to strike, you aren't happy with your work place and time to move on to bigger and better ventures?
Just simply looking for another job is obviously not that easy these days, particularly if you are working in a profession with limited employer options, like many in public services. I would agree that if you are in a smaller organisation and as an individual can negotiate with your employer, you may get a better deal, however in a large organisation with a structured pay format, you do not have that freedom or individual flexibility, which also can apply to the employer. That is why many employees engage in the collective bargaining arrangements through their trade union as it is the only viable option they have to represent their interests. Strikes in the public sector that have attracted the usual aggressive response from opponents are not because the staff are being greedy and expecting inflation busting rises. On the contrary, it is because their pay has been eroded by up to 20% in real terms since 2008 and their employer is in many cases breaching their employment agreements by seeking to move the goal posts over pensions and retirement age. Not quite the militant blackmailers they are painted by the right wing press, but simply ordinary, working people trying to prevent their standard of living dropping any further than it has over the last few years.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Going on strike achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Sometimes you are right but sometimes working people have no option other than to withdraw their labour if their jobs or working conditions are under attack. The bad old days of the 1970's are long gone and strike action is now only generally taken as a last resort. As one of the sensible contributors on here, despite our differences of view, surely you accept that the right to trade union membership and collective bargaining is an important right? Few people want to strike these days but sometimes they are left with no choice or their livelihoods would be stripped away at will by unscrupulous employers.[/p][/quote]I think the issue with striking is that one way or another the money will still be saved somewhere along the line. Lets say they win the arguement, will jobs be lost to save money elsewhere? Much like the Council strikes, they eventually had pay restored but at a cost of more job losses and more cuts to essential services. I do agree with you people do have a right to have access to unions, but striking in my opinion is much like blackmail, do as we say or we'll down tools.[/p][/quote]Disclaimer: I personally would not indulge in striking, or industrial action. You say that striking is very much like blackmail, and you're probably right. However, it has to be borne in mind that the worker/employer relationship is a very asymmetric one in which, on the face of it, the employer holds all the cards. He has the power to dictate the terms of how that relationship runs, from working conditions, to pay, to hours, and on and on. The only card the workers have on their side is the withdrawal of labour. Myself, if I find that an employer is not being fair with me, I vote with my feet, and find another job. I exercise my right to withdraw labour, as an individual. In fact, I've played this card a number of times when the employer has countered and offered to improve conditions, in exchange for retaining my services. Did I blackmail him, or did we re-negotiate our terms? Striking is very similar to this, except it is done en masse. It may or may not be blackmail, but I don't see that workers have much else in the way of options when it comes to negotiating terms.[/p][/quote]I can't disagree with you. My only point would be, you work for an employer, you choose wether to stay with them or not. Personally, if my employer annoyed me i'd simply look for a new job where they give me what I want.[/p][/quote]Just to add, when it comes to strike action it means the relationship between employee and employer has broke down. Surely this is time to move on as once you don't trust your employer, you will struggle to be motivated. Just my opinion, but feel if you need to strike, you aren't happy with your work place and time to move on to bigger and better ventures?[/p][/quote]Just simply looking for another job is obviously not that easy these days, particularly if you are working in a profession with limited employer options, like many in public services. I would agree that if you are in a smaller organisation and as an individual can negotiate with your employer, you may get a better deal, however in a large organisation with a structured pay format, you do not have that freedom or individual flexibility, which also can apply to the employer. That is why many employees engage in the collective bargaining arrangements through their trade union as it is the only viable option they have to represent their interests. Strikes in the public sector that have attracted the usual aggressive response from opponents are not because the staff are being greedy and expecting inflation busting rises. On the contrary, it is because their pay has been eroded by up to 20% in real terms since 2008 and their employer is in many cases breaching their employment agreements by seeking to move the goal posts over pensions and retirement age. Not quite the militant blackmailers they are painted by the right wing press, but simply ordinary, working people trying to prevent their standard of living dropping any further than it has over the last few years. Maine Lobster
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree