Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Union Motivation

The motives behind the strike called by the unions in the BA dispute are difficult to fathom, but the dated struggle between the capitalist employer and the 'workers' is strongly intimated. Yet, the modern-day lackey seems unaware of the deeper implications. The timing is fortuitous if not planned with knowledge of a general election. In the event, the unions did not get the Labour government that they fund, but the action simply escalates instead. The interests of members are claimed to be the priority, but actions conflict with this alleged aim. Considered against an expected loss of £100s millions due to a downturn in passenger bookings, higher costs and 'industrial action' taken by the employees on the advice or instruction of the union leaders, the workers 'betters' don't pay the wages, but only take members' dues. It's somewhat cynical to be in receipt of a large salary + expenses package paid for out of members subscriptions who are being urged to strike and in so doing simply cripple themselves. The imagined move forwards to improve the interests of BA employees is non-existent.

  On the face of it it seems lunacy to take industrial action to reacquire the favourable working practices lost by taking industrial action in the first place. This is simply digging the hole deeper and there can never be a way out by 'digging'. To suggest it is spiteful or vengeful of the employer to inflict 'punishment' for such action is absurd, when the workers themselves spitefully intended damage. The madness is the self-harming they have done and continue to do. The 'workers' cannot have imagined that the business wouldn't suffer. The hole gets deeper. And deeper. The supplicants haven't realised that the Labour saviour is no longer 'in charge'.

The members of these unions presumably still pay their dues if and when they become unemployed as a result of union advice. The union leaders don't jeopardise their employment as they are not employed by the industries with which they are in conflict. The members are the pawns and the union leaders appear to see themselves as the power players in a chess game. This has all the 'marxings' of an ideological struggle simply using the workers as the fodder. The industry will be destroyed and in times of workers real pain this is absolute betrayal. The motives for winning are unclear, but consider the novel Animal Farm (plot summary) by George Orwell (aka Eric Blair) and the cynical mobilisation and manipulation of well-meaning animals by other animals (the pigs), a dystopian allegorical tale of treachery and betrayal.

Union bosses are allegedly paid £1.7million a year in pay, pensions and perks. RMT rail union boss Bob Crow was (according to official statistics), paid in excess of £128,000. Crow's six-figure package includes a salary of £84,923 with additional pension contributions totalling £28,088. Almost £10,000 in "expenses" plus another £5,284 to cover his travel and petrol bills. The well-paid militant 'fat-cats' plotted a wave of strikes that caused misery for millions of hard-working families. The biggest union 'fat cat' is Derek Simpson, general secretary of the Unite union (retires 23.12.2010) behind the recent British Airways strikes and received just under £187,000: a £97,027 salary, nearly £27,000 in pension contributions, £38,340 for accommodation and £24,480 for his car. Unite's other general secretary Tony Woodley has a £122,000 package, including a salary of £93,815. BIG earners include Dave Prentis, boss of public sector union Unison who got just over £130,000 (£95,000 salary, pension contributions of more than £24,000 and nearly £11,000 expenses). Billy Hayes, the militant leader of Communications Workers Union (CWU), took home an £87,045 salary - plus a "beneficial loan" of £1,393.

The same union bosses are claimed to have handed over £74.2million to Labour since 2005 - more than half of the party's donations. It suggests Marxist ideology funds Marxist ideology and quite possibly without the approval of those who pay for it - the workers. The smiling strikers suggests a blind happiness. Going to your own public execution and still happy.

Open your eyes and view reality

It's the end

Derek Simpson retires this December (2010). What interest will he then have for the betrayed unemployed as he enjoys the pension the members have funded?

Public sympathy is at a minimum when those who are fortunate enough to have a job play the games of others completely unaware of the 'game' they are in. Being led by the nose like lambs to slaughter. This illustrates the true ethos behind a socialist (Labour) party.

All the figures on pay, pensions and perks are based on papers submitted to the official Certification Officer, who keeps records on every union. Presumably, the members (workers) are happy to pay their contributions into union coffers and ensure lucrative pensions for their leaders' retirement. And assuming that they are aware of how the unions fund Labour governments and the "high life" for the hardline fat-cats. Any outgoings must originate by income from members. It seems that "while workers face demands for pay restraint, union bosses are raking it in at their expense" (Douglas Carswell). The male supremacy within union positions that represent the rank and file of men and women is illustrated by the following:

Bob Crow, RMT - £128,226 
  • Pay: £84,923 
  • Pension contributions: £28,088 
  • Expenses: £9,931 
  • Travel (including petrol): £5,284
Derek Simpson, UNITE - £186,626
  • Pay: £97,027 
  • Pension: £26,779
  • Car and other allowance: £24,480
  • Housing Benefit: £38,340
Tony Woodley, UNITE - £122,108
  • Pay: £93,815
  • Pension contributions: £16,347
  • Beneficial loan: £6,603
  • Car fuel: £5,343 
Unite is formed from the merger of
Amicus and the TGWU

  • Marxists approach the question of union mergers from the point of view of the rank and file, and whether the merger will or will not lead to greater strength and combativity. On this basis, a smaller, democratic union can prove more effective than a larger, bureaucratic union, whose leaders are anxious to avoid struggle whilst they look after their own interests at the expense of the rank and file.
Dave Prentis, UNISON - £130,109
  • Pay: £94,953
  • Pension contributions: £24,311
  • Expenses and car benefits: £10,845
Paul Kenny, GMB - £112,000
  • Pay: £84,000 
  • Super-annuation: £20,000
  • Car: £8,000
John Hannett, USDAW- £113,156
  • Pay: £85,812
  • Pension contributions: £17,247
  • Union car: £10,097
Billy Hayes, CWU - £88,438
  • Pay: £87,045
  • Beneficial Loan: £1,393
Alan Ritchie, UCATT - £83,536
  • Pay: £68,779
  • Pensions contributions: £12,658
  • Car: £2,099
Michael Leahy, Community - £116,000
  • Salary: £86,072
  • Pension contribution: £17,214
  • Car, driver, mortgage, medical, telephone : £12,709
Gerry Doherty, TSSA - £78,508
  • Salary: £65,152
  • Pension contributions: £13,356
Keith Norman, ASLEF - £118,944
  • Salary: £73,907 
  • Pensions contributions: £26,430
  • Car, services and accommodation: £18,607
John Smith, Musicians' Union - £102,239
  • Pay: £80,116
  • Pensions contributions: £16,000
  • Car: £5,423
  • Phone: £700
Gerry Morrissey, BECTU - £76,359
  • Salary: £59,813
  • Pensions contributions: £16,546
Joe Marino, BFAWU - £56,585
  • Salary: £42,759
  • Pensions contribution: £6,691
  • Car: £7,071
  • Medical: £64
Chris Kitchen, NUM - £51,594
  • Salary: £47,537
  • Travel, fuel and phone: £4,057
Ian Lavery, NUM President - £59,421
  • Salary: £59,421
Geoff Bagnall, Unity - £71,335
  • Pay: £41,598
  • Pensions contributions: £21,963
  • Car, fuel, health club and other benefits: £7,774 
Militant unions have given more than half of all donations to Labour since the last General Election. The party and its MPs received £74.2million in total - with more than £40million coming from groups now threatening to bring Britain to its knees with strikes. PM Gordon Brown while still in government was blasted for not condemning the current BA cabin crew walkouts, yet took £10,950 for his Scottish constituency. Opposition parties had accused Labour of being held to ransom by the unions. Tory chairman Eric Pickles said: "No wonder Gordon Brown has shown no backbone during this strike - his political survival depends on union barons lining the pockets of the Labour Party... Labour want to take us back to the 1970s with a Spring of Discontent and a wave of walkouts.

"Labour courted rich individuals under ex-PM Tony Blair's leadership, who poured £millions into the party's coffers. That cash eventually dried up under Brown and left the party ever more reliant on union help. The militants' influence had grown at No10 and UNITE, locked in a bitter battle with BA, led the way in donations with £17.9million. Dr Brown's former 'spin doctor' Charlie Whelan, still a regular visitor to Downing Street, is now political director of Unite. Senior adviser in No 10, Clare Moody, had her salary paid by Unite.

Public service union UNISON gave the next highest handout of £8.1million, while £5.2million came from USDAW. Both are involved in disputes. The GMB, whose British Gas members voted to strike before reaching a last-minute deal on Wednesday, gave £6.2million. The Royal Mail-crippling CWU gave £2.6million and the TSSA, whose rail workers were set to strike with the RMT, gave £242,000. Figures posted on the Electoral Commission website show Dr Brown's Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency got the £10,950 from Unite, Unison and the GMB. Other ministers who received union backing included Schools Secretary Ed Balls, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth and International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.

Dr. Vince Cable (Lib Dem deputy leader at the time) said: