Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Union Grumbles Are Pathetic

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg has just Twittered that the Public and Commercial Services Union say they would strike as a result of George Osborne's public sector pay freeze. Note, first of all, how they didn't threaten to strike yesterday when Alistair Darling announced a pay freeze - albeit one on a smaller scale.

However, the pay freeze is a facade they are hiding behind. The pay freeze will of course affect the income of many of their members, as it will for everyone who works in the public sector. But you only need to spend 30 seconds on the Internet to find out why the PCSU in particular is having a hissy fit. Even Wikipedia notes that "most of its members work in government departments and other public bodies". So the bulk of its members work in the very Whitehall that Osborne has said needs to cut costs by a third, and I'd bet money that a good number work in the Quangos that Ken Clarke said would need to prove their worth or be scrapped.

I am sympathetic to anyone who is feeling the crunch at the moment - and both myself and friends and family are in the same boat. But unions need to grow up about this, and recognise that as the private sector is suffering heavy losses, public sector employees - the number of which continues to grow - cannot be immune from the consequences of the recession.

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