Anorak News | A Tale Of Two Strikes

A Tale Of Two Strikes

by | 29th, March 2006

‘THE bad news is that yesterday’s strike by an estimated 1 million council workers means that the workshop into what kind of biscuits are right and proper to serve at council meetings has been postponed.

‘OK, mes braves, take out your onions and chop them at will…’

Aside from that, most of you will not have noticed much change to the norm as the masses walked out over pensions issues.

Still, the Times says services were “badly affected”. The unions are “digging in” for a long dispute. Although, such is the way of things, private contractors may be called in to do the actual digging, with council workers filling in forms to facilitate said digging and order the biscuits.

News is that another 24-hour walkout has been pencilled in for May 3. The weather should be a little warmer by then, and we are sure union members will take to the streets, parks and gardens.

Not that yesterday was a complete wash out. As the Times says, Unison claims 17,500 schools were forced to close and some councils are reported to have shut down totally.

While council workers and their children plan a family day out in May, the Times notes that the strike meant that a council–run cemetery in Blackburn, Lancashire, could not conduct burials.

That’s not exactly the kind of behaviour that is going to curry favour with the general public at large, otherwise known as council tax payers.

But, then, not every council worker wanted to strike in the first place. As the Telegraph reports, only one in eight local government workers voted to strike.

Meanwhile, over in France, the French were also revolting. “It was the best of strikes and it was the worst of strikes,” says the paper – although which is which depends on what you want from industry action.

If striking means leaning on placards and smoking fags outside council offices, Britain is best. If it means protesting against a new employment law (the new law allows employers to sack young workers during their first two years employment without giving reasons that must be “justified” in court), the French win.

The Telegraph watches 700,000 marchers take to the Paris streets. It sees police use tear gas against several hundred of the jeunesse d’ore who threw bottles and petrol bombs.

Of course, as anyone who has ever attended a football match in France will know, tear gas is no big deal, it being the French police’s equivalent of the stern ticking off. (What did the French do before tear gas – throw cut onions at the mob).

Which all means that come May 3rd, the British strikers have a lot to live up to. They will strike with force and vigour – unless it is raining, and Joyce in accounts has opened a new packet of custard creams…’

Posted: 29th, March 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink