This week there have been strikes, although not as many as I would have liked to have seen.
Some parts of the NHS have been on strike, tomorrow (Wednesday 15th) the PCS are on strike and on Saturday the 18th of October, there will be a TUC march in London over the living wages of workers. Others, such as the RMT and NUT were also supposed to be on strike this week, although they have been called off. I have read several articles recently condemning the strikes and the unions, telling us that they’re ruining people’s lives (as if they aren’t people too) and aren’t being ‘team players’.
I honestly cannot believe what I am reading. Strike action takes months to sort out, there has to be a ballot and votes and it certainly isn’t something that is decided upon overnight. The government and the media (shame on you, BBC) are turning the unions into monsters in two. very sinister ways. Firstly, the government is actively demeaning the unions and those that agree with strike action, whilst all of the main media outlets are brushing our problems under the carpet and are not giving a voice to those who need it most!
How can anyone in their right mind observe the amount of striking that is taking place right now and NOT come to the conclusion that there is a real issue here. I’m sure that those at the top can see exactly what is going on down below and probably don’t give a toss about what happens to the little people, as long as they’re still getting to stuff their fat faces with a £39 breakfast courtesy of the taxpayer, of course.
The real issue here, is that there is such a divide between those who want a better working life and those who have been brainwashed into apathy. I refuse to believe that there is a single person who would happily allow their working conditions to worsen, whether that be through longer hours or poorer pay. It just wouldn’t happen. Since the 1980s, the government has been constantly beating down on the unions and slowly tearing them apart to the point where it’s now almost illegal to strike. The me, me, me attitude (which I’m constantly droning on about) has turned us all into blood thirsty killers, only working to look after ourselves and no one else, no matter who suffers. Many of us nowadays do not stop to consider what we might do if we were in that position ourselves, and that right there is a very dangerous thing indeed. It is a thing that does nothing but fuel the hatred for those going on strike and eventually turns working people against each other.
We are constantly being told that these evil unions are stopping our children from getting an education or letting our relatives suffer in hospitals simply because they ‘want’ more money. For a start, it’s not as simple as people just wanting a better wage, it’s about needing a better wage. Some of the hardest working people in the country are paid the lowest wages, with no logical reasoning behind it and alongside this, it’s important for us to remember that those evil teachers and nurses are people too.
They get ill, they have to pay their bills, they need to have their own lives and if you take advantage of those people, they will leave and the profession will suffer greatly. If the government continues to bully people into long hours and appalling working conditions, then you’ve got to ask: why should those bright minds and caring souls continue to do their job well? It’s not even necessarily about people choosing to do their jobs in a bad way because in reality, most working people are expected to do so much and meet such unachievable targets that they simply cannot do their job well, or even at all.
The eventuality that is already upon us is that there wont be enough teachers, or nurses, or jobs for anyone at all and in the end, companies and organisations will be forced into employing people who are under qualified and lack the basic training. Mistakes will be made, lives will be lost and your children will probably grow up without the basic education they need to function as a rational human being. They might even end up voting for a Tory government.
I support the strikes because I know what the alternative is.