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Should workers in essential services be allowed to go on strike?

  • Democracy or dictatorship?

    We have used military force to overthrow dictators in other countries and set free the people who have been oppressed and suppressed by these horrible regimes. We pride ourselves on the fact that the citizens of this wonderful country are afforded the right to free speech. We are supposed to be one of the most democratic countries on earth - don't let a bunch of jumped up politicians take away our liberties. When everything else has failed, we must maintain the right to withdraw our labour as a last ditch attempt to be heard. This decision is never taken lightly - when we do so it is in the full knowledge that we will not be paid during our time of protest. Surely, it is not too much to ask in a country like ours. Do we want to live in a true democratic society, or do we want a dictatorship? Yours in Unity.

  • Last resort for affective protest.

    We want you to stop and listen but you won't. We explain why we are upset with what you are doing to us as a collective workforce but you don't listen. You believe you have the authority to make decisions that we believe are just plain wrong, and we should just live with it? A lot of the time the decisions you make are more about the "so called" bigger picture and so not related to the real rights and wrongs of the actual decision you make that affect us, and so when I think you have over stepped the mark I WILL most reluctantly withdraw my labour.

  • Last resort for affective protest.

    We want you to stop and listen but you won't. We explain why we are upset with what you are doing to us as a collective workforce but you don't listen. You believe you have the authority to make decisions that we believe are just plain wrong, and we should just live with it? A lot of the time the decisions you make are more about the "so called" bigger picture and so not related to the real rights and wrongs of the actual decision you make that affect us, and so when I think you have over stepped the mark I WILL most reluctantly withdraw my labour.

  • This is a democratic right that any employee has

    This is about standing up for yourself when you know that the government is wrong. Ask yourself this. If you were asked to pay somewhere in the region of £160,000 plus (not including yearly increases) into a savings account over the next 40 year's only to get with in 5 years of retirement and find that you can't continue with the payments as there is a clause connected to your health and you are not fit enough to stay in the savings plan. This clause means that because you are no longer able to mentain the same leave of fitness you had when you joined you must leave, but not with all your money. It says if you leave before 60 they can take upto 47.1% off of you and you won't get it till your 67. Would you join that savings scheme? Could you guarantee your fitness til 60 or face loosing your savings. I
    We are already paying more (£4000 a year)
    We are already getting less than agreed
    And we will probably end up working longer
    We have been talking for 3 long years but its fallen on deaf years and are still willing to negotiate. But this is just wholly unfair, unreasonable and unachievable especially at a time when MPs are suggesting an 11% pay raise for themselves. Shocking! We must stand up for ourselves.

  • The government fails to listen and negotiat when we do have action available. What would it be like if we didn't have this option ?

    The government refuses to negotiate on pension reform. We have tried for two years to come to agreement, the government refuse to listen to the evidence provided, even by their own experts. What choice are we left with . We have been forced into this. Do you think we want to strike, we joined, prepared to sacrifice ourselves to save strangers for 30 years of our lives. All we expect is to be payed fairly and the financial agreement (pension) to be hornered.

  • Pension is well earned

    Why should a firefighter who has paid well above the average pension contribution in order to provide a future for his family have that money taken away in order for the Government to save money? In an emergency situation the public have a right to be saved by emergency personnel fit to carry out their duty safely and effectively. Asking a normal human being to maintain a level of fitness equivalent to a professional athlete during their fifties is ludicrous and threatening to withdraw their pension if they don't meet that fitness level, despite all the extra money they have paid towards that pension, is wrong.

  • Yes- we should not be held to emotional blackmail by MPs who have far better pension conditions than any other public service workers.

    Yes- we should not be held to emotional blackmail by MPs who have far better pension conditions than any other public service workers. It is corrupt that MPs attempt to manipulate the media in such a way that essential service workers have rights which were agreed when they took up employment (and kept them in a public service during 'times of plenty' when private sector wages were soaring in relation to public services' wages) taken from them at a later date. Particularly when you look at the hypocritical actions of MPs and the Civil Servants who drive through such morally wrong changes.

  • Yes- we should not be held to emotional blackmail by MPs who have far better pension conditions than any other public service workers.

    Yes- we should not be held to emotional blackmail by MPs who have far better pension conditions than any other public service workers. It is corrupt that MPs attempt to manipulate the media in such a way that essential service workers have rights which were agreed when they took up employment (and kept them in a public service during 'times of plenty' when private sector wages were soaring in relation to public services' wages) taken from them at a later date. Particularly when you look at the hypocritical actions of MPs and the Civil Servants who drive through such morally wrong changes.

  • Brandon Lewis aka Baron Swindle

    How can this Government justify not offering Fire-fighters a Pension Proposal when its own Governments Actuary Department has made it plain in writing that there is a possible proposal that is within the Governments own cost ceiling that could bring this Pensions Dispute to a possible end. Fire-fighters along with their emergency service counterparts do not want to strike, but why accept an offer when the side you are in dispute with has disclosed there is a better proposal that could and should be made.
    If someone can successfully debate the above and present the evidence against this, then surely we should return to work.
    Lets hope common sense prevails and as with most disputes a compromise can be found but in the meantime, "Strength is Unity"
    If we live in a democratic society, then surely we are all entitled to our Human Rights.

  • Right to defend

    If all you have is your labour what is there to stop any employer just doing what they want to the workforce, make you work longer hours pay you less , should you role over and accept? For people to say if you don't your job leave, it's one thing knowing what your signing up to its another it been ripped apart halfway through your career

  • Lives are in danger during strikes

    I uphold strikes as a means for demanding better working conditions, but I don't like emergency services striking as it puts the general public in danger and feels as if we are being used as the bargaining chip to provide the workers better pay.

    I think emergency services need to find alternate ways of getting what they're asking for without having the general public suffer during their debate.

  • If you don't like your conditions of service, get yourself another job.

    Whether you are working for a private company or a public body, you have a contract with them that determines your conditions of service. You do not have a right to better pay and conditions unless it is stated in your contract. If your employer does not offer what you want, by all means negotiate, like a grown up, but striking is petty and childish and simply hurts everyone else. If you don't like it, go and get another job - if enough employees leave through poor pay and conditions, then as in any market place, the employer will pay more money and provide better conditions to hire new employees. There are simply too many unions willing to down tools rather than behave like civilised human beings.

  • Who is abusing their power?

    Unions were designed to prevent abuses of power. I don't see this happening here (except maybe the union abusing their power for their own gain at the expense of many other working individuals). Take the offer on the table and be happy you have a job in this economy, not to mention a guaranteed yearly raise for the next four years.

  • No - they are their to save lives and prevent harm or injury.

    The Military and police cannot strike. Firefighters, paramedics and essential 'blue light' services should not be allowed to strike.

    You don't go into these professions for the money after all. If they can still run minimal services and protect life while on strike then I would contest that we have too many of them or that they are being underused (Firefighters with second jobs for example).

  • Its public money

    Iam a rate payer and pay rates and contribute to there pensions, and earn a lot less money and a lot smaller pension than fire fighters get. They should think them selfs lucky. And they will get a state basic pension on top. Plus a number have second jobs they want the cake and eat it . Get back to work and do the job you are payed for. After all they did not hav't to join the fire service.

  • Nobody should be allowed to go on strike

    If workers don't like their working conditions, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. If conditions are really bad, many employees will be leaving, employer will have trouble retaining employees, and will have to improve conditions.

    This is a free country, and unions shouldn't be allowed to hold businesses and customers hostage to their demands.

  • Not at all

    They effect more than just themselves and need to be help accountable to this. I believe that they should be able to participate in collective bargaining for better work conditions but should not be able to strike at any time for any reason. When they took this job they knew the pay and the terms.

  • Adapt or die

    Look, the world is a complex place. There can be any number of stances for why unions should and shouldn't exist, why labor rights like striking should exist.

    But essential services are non-negotiable. And denying them to the public as part of a labor negotiation process is akin to hostage acts.

    If you are unhappy with your job, leave. Even essential devices are at-will employment. And someone will be happy to replace your butt.

  • Not at all

    Essential workers are really important, without them, stuff like water would be cut off or disrupted, our electricity too. Furthermore, strikes are violent, so in and of itself it's bad. Workers in essential services add to the badness of it all and have no justification in striking, because they hurt innocent public people. Even if they have good reasons to strike, it's not good, because they have no right to strike.

  • It would be demons-crazy not democracy.

    If workers in essential services were to be allowed to strike the lives, health, safety of persons and security of the country would be irreparably at stake. Imagine how criminal activity would be if police officials were to be on strike. By the time they came from the strike many lives be dead. The same applies to doctors, nurses. Did you think of prisoners if the warders were to be on strike the whole month. It would be chaos. To say they are not allowed to strike does not mean that their disputes of interests would not be addressed effectively, as they are allowed to refer their disputes to a compulsory interest arbitration.


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