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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 February 2012

We need fighting trade unions

Mike Aistrop, North West

In 1997 Alan Greenspan stated before the US Senate committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, that one of the contributing factors for the US 'double digit' growth during the early 1990s was 'worker insecurity'.

Workers were so fearful for their jobs and future prospects that they were willing to forgo pay increases and union membership for the possibility of a 'secure' job.

With this in mind and having listened to a couple of Noam Chomsky discussions, Class War - The Attack on Working People and Free Market Fantasies, Capitalism in the Real World, I was recently asked to lead a discussion while on a trade union reps' training course.

My idea was to try and define worker security and worker insecurity, find real examples of policies which supported security or insecurity, understand the purpose of these policies, the advantages and disadvantages, how the trade union movement should react and what the future looks like.

I split the group into two and set them off to find the supporting evidence for worker security and worker insecurity.

After 30 minutes, the group looking at worker security found no policies which would lead to worker security.

But the group looking at worker insecurity found lots of examples, such as the 1% pay freeze for public sector workers, the 700,000 public sector job losses (which is more than the whole public sector in Scotland), changes to the employment tribunal procedures, pensions, increase in retirement age, social partnership policy, workfare, etc.

In the end we agreed that the only secure thing workers can look forward to in the future is insecurity and that the trade unions need to gear up for what is coming.

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In The Socialist 8 February 2012:


Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Save the NHS!

Prince Philip Hospital Llanelli: We can defeat cuts plans

Kingston Hospital: Save all NHS jobs


Socialist Party news and analysis

London - a tale of two cities

Exploiting the unemployed to line the pockets of big business

Safe railways, not shopping malls

Them & Us


Socialist Party youth and students

Students drop out of college without EMA

Leeds Trinity students fight canteen cuts

New society at Leeds College


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Scrap the Welfare Reform Bill

Tactics to stop racist EDL

Manchester Sure Starts saved!

Tower Hamlets: Save Rushmead one stop shop - fight all cuts

Salford campaign saves day care centres

Defend care services in Medway


International socialist news and analysis

Mubarak's state machine blamed for football massacre


Socialist Party workplace news

UCU special conference

Reinstate sacked PCS steward, John Brookes!

The scandalous role of London Unison - Demand that it defends Len Hockey!

Striking oil tanker drivers demand meaningful talks

Workplace news in brief


The Socialist - reviews & readers' comments

Tory policies hit women hardest

We need fighting trade unions

Review: Borgen - politics and crime in Denmark


 

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