Unions aim to win public support for strikes

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A new Enough Is Enough campaign, fronted by the CWU and RMT Unions and backed by a couple of Labour MPs, is aiming to change perceptions and win public support for strikes. When you can’t get your ecommerce sales delivered, your workers have no trains to get to work, and there’s no one to fix your broken phone lines, the Unions want you to forget that they’ve brought your business to it’s knees and go support the picket lines.

Within hours of launch, 75,000 had joined the campaign and by the second day that had doubled to over 150,000 – not really surprising seeing as the two Unions can market to their members. But there will be a fair amount of public support for their five aims which on the surface are perfectly reasonable:

  1. A Real Pay Rise.
  2. Slash Energy Bills.
  3. End Food Poverty.
  4. Decent Homes for All.
  5. Tax the Rich.

In an attempt to gain public support, picket lines have already been collecting food for local foodbanks. The CWU – which represents BT Group employees – urged members of the public to drop off food to hundreds of picket lines across the country at their last strike on the 1st of August. It’s a great strategy as a few pictures of public support dropping off food for the needy changes a media shot from angry workers screwing up your life to struggling workers who still have compassion to help others.

It’s also hard to argue with the five aims of Enough is Enough so public support, whether active or implied, is pretty much guaranteed. Who doesn’t want significant rise in the national minimum wage to £15 an hour, a real public sector pay rise, and an inflation busting-rise in pensions and benefits as well as having the pending October price cap for energy bills cancelled with a return to the significantly lower pre-April energy price cap?

The Unions job is to fight for their workers – that’s why they exist in the first place, but the venom spewing from their mouths is unprecedented. CWU General Secretary Dave Ward is calling for war on every “piss-taking boss, parasite landlord and corrupt politician”, and UK politicians and CEOs, RMT Assistant General Secretary Eddie Dempsey, described them as “cowards”.

The reality facing the country is pretty stark, with the cost of living rising with record inflation, real terms wages are going to fall and everyone is pretty much going to have a lower standard of living than they’ve been accustomed to. The Unions will calling strikes for the foreseeable future as they’ve been spoiling for a fight for years and think they can get the public onside.

Garnering public support by posing for a few photos of someone’s mum dropping off a few cans of food to their son or daughter at a picket line isn’t going to work though. The general public aren’t that daft.

If you are interested, Enough is Enough are holding a London launch rally at 7pm on Wednesday the 17th of August at The Clapham Grand, SW11 1TT.


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