Saturday, June 23, 2012

(Opinion) weak coalition now subject multiple union strikes

While there is very rarely an opportune time in politics to fight a war, to pick fights with key sections of the public sector when your opponents have a solid ten point lead over you in the polls, suffer from a awkward double whammy of suspicion and apathy towards most of your policy initiatives, and are at the center of what is sure to be the most infamous political scandal of the decade, is a very unwise strategy indeed.

The latest group preparing to strike in light of the coalition government targeting their pensions is doctors and GPs, following the police and teachers as the coalition looks set to to be the most unpopular government since the conservative rule post thatcher. With the coalition economic plan based on austerity rather than growth, this has entailed major cuts in the public sector, meaning cuts in pay for workers in the public sector.

the coalition government strategy to justify their position with regard to making large cuts to the public sector is to stress their cost to the taxpayer citing their wage packet in comparison to the private sector, where they know private workers pensions are nothing compared to the public sector, but, the government will never explore why such a deficit exists. Unions in  the private for the most part never survived the purge of the thatcher government that vowed and largely succeeded in breaking the unions thus weakening their bargaining power at the negotiation table.

this policy of weakening unions was largely continued by labor as the labor leadership sought to distance the party from its past, of which the unions are a large part of. Now unions in the private sector, totally defanged,   are now just harmonizer of unpopular company policy as they represent very few workers and have no bargaining power due to a competitive labor market and advancements in the labor process. 

Unions now only have power in the public sector, which makes for a large percentage of their members. workers in this sector are not as disposable but still suffer to large cuts in budgets allocated by the government of the day

however, with a weak coalition government languishing in the polls, Unions see this moment as their chance to put pressure on this government to with a history of backing down major policy initiatives after little pressure from opposing groups. The coalition have no option but wait for unions to come to the table and talk about revisions to their pension cuts proposal

In sum, this government that has made enemies of friends such as the police will show up in the next election as this government has lived up to every stereotype that kept them in the wilderness for more than a decade. 

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