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    Llanmartinangel wrote:
    BassalegCountyFan wrote:
    Llanmartinangel wrote:
    Mr Angry wrote:
    Llanmartinangel wrote:
    Mr Angry wrote:
    How did the unions cause this, people go on strike because they have a grievance, employers cause strikes not unions. When some cowboy employer cuts pay and conditions what are the workforce supposed to do tug their forlock and say 'Yes guv I knows me place'

    Unions are needed to protect employees from employers like you.
    Useless employees might need unions. So in your world the union representing power workers with the muscle to shut it off can pretty much demand what they want? The best thing Thatcher did was stop the tail wagging the dog. They represent a tiny minority of the UK public. They are not elected.
    You don't get it, no Union member wants to go on strike as that means loss of earnings, if they were treated fairly ( a word employers find hard to understand ) there would be no need for strikes.

    As for elected, union leaders are elected by members to represent them, and who decides employees are usless? I've known employees sacked as they are too good and management see them as a threat.

    As for the rubbish about power workers, is it right forpower employers to treat employees badly knowing they have no right of response.
    It ain't a perfect world. I've been on both sides of the fence but never met a union rep yet with a brain cell. Good employees are sought after. I know, I seek them. But once you've sat opposite a union guy defending someone for dealing drugs in work or surfing **** or turning up when he feels like it you realise the unions are just as flawed as some bosses but mostly without the nous. Usually on a power kick but lacking the ability to make it on their own.
    Llanmartin, your offensive remarks about union reps are a complete distortion of the truth.
    Firstly, some of the most intelligent, brave and noble people I've ever known have been union reps. They are the sort of people who stand up for each other and stand against vested interests. That's exactly why thatcher wanted to silence the unions.
    Secondly you suggest that trade union reps and leaders are unelected - this could not be more incorrect. Every union representative from a factory shop steward to the leader of a large national union like Unite or Unison is an elected representative. The same can't be said for the wealthy elite who are the puppet masters of tory governments, and have a much more damaging impact on Britain.
    During the course of a senior management career I've met dozens of union reps. Most struggled with even basic economics and employment law and a good many were doing it since it allowed them time away from their day job. I can't recall a single incident where they materially affected an outcome. Thatcher wanted to defeat the unions because they had thwarted even Wilson's and Callaghan's attempts to bring them into line and curb inflation. Closed shops, sympathy strikes, strikes without ballots, flying pickets, sending decent workers to Coventry, were all wrong and even the last Labour government didn't repeal a single piece of Thatcher's union reforms. As for unelected - I never elected any of them and neither did around 90% of the population.
    You don't get it do you, Union Leaders are elected by Union members and accountable to them, and them alone. Its nobody else's business . God you say some daft things."
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Files show truth

Files show truth

First published in Letters

WITH the release of secret Government papers under the 30 year rule, at last the truth has come out about the 1984-5 miners strike. Despite all their denials at the time, Margaret Thatcher and the Tories had a hidden agenda to destroy the mining industry, through her well-planned strategy of killing off Britain’s weak, poorly-led Trade unions. She first struck at the engineering unions, and provoked a strike with British Leyland.

Her next target was the steel industry, which initiated the demise of the 10,000 strong Llanwern steel union membership.

The public sector followed, including nurses and the whole of the NHS. The railway union was next in line.

Arthur Scargill did his utmost to expose the half truths and downright lies.

However, with the help of the media – especially the London press and a hostile Parliament, including Welsh MPs, the lies of Thatcher and MacGregor began to stick. The miners fought a heroic fight back. Cardiff and our Valleys were at the centre of the world’s attention.

They were never defeated. They marched back to their pits and the prospect of a devastated community.

A lost generation of kids will forever curse Thatcher, MacGregor and the Tories.

Ray Davies Pandy Road Caerphilly

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