Why workers decide to go on strike
Letter of the week: Adrienne Hatfield, Mirfield
I write in response to last week’s front page story regarding Kirklees Council and the threat of strike action from Unison.
Imagine being told by your employer they have to make job cuts and the worry and uncertainty that brings.
Then imagine being told if you are made redundant your redundancy pay will be capped, even though the top dogs have already received their payoffs.
Or being told that now you are 64+ you will be forced to retire but you may get a smaller pension as your employer is looking into ‘legal’ ways of reducing pensionable pay, again even though the top dogs have have already received their payoffs.
Then imagine being told, after working in the same school for the last 20 years, that as your contract is renewed year on year you are actually deemed as ‘temporary’ so your name has been added to the job cut list.
Finally, imagine being told that a new formula is being applied retrospectively to calculate sickness absence and so, if you’re unlucky enough to have had long periods off work due to such illnesses as cancer or Crohn’s disease, or even undergone surgery such as a hysterectomy, then you are more likely to lose your job.
It doesn’t seem a very fair and ethical way to treat an employee does it?
Yet now that those employees are contemplating strike action in a bid to be treated fairly and ethically, whilst fighting for their livelihood, Kirklees want employees to deal with job cuts through “discussions”.
None of the above was ever discussed with employees. Strike action is not a decision an employee takes lightly, it means disruption, upset and loss of pay for all involved. But it is not fair to expect employees to roll over and take such treatment without standing up for what is right.
For strike action to be avoided it is Kirklees who need to enter into “discussions”, remembering that it has to be twosided and it has to be fair and ethical, not just another form of dictatorship.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The strike ballot has now been suspended and the council plans talks with the union.
From: Name and address supplied
Thank you for publishing my letter last week regarding a race attack in Batley Carr in which a white man on a bike was attacked by a gang of Asians.
My letter worked wonders but it beggars belief that it takes a letter from a member of the public to force the police to admit it happened and appeal for witnesses.
It makes one wonder how many other similar incidents are swept to one side.
No wonder public confidence in the police is on the decline.
From: S Garbutt, Ossett
I was one of the hundreds of people who went to the public meeting in Ossett Town Hall about the closure of Owl Lane tip.
The people of Ossett turned out to show Wakefield Council that they want to keep the tip open and they don’t want a gipsy site on their doorstep.
Wakefield Council has never given anything to Ossett and by wanting to close the tip and turn into into a gipsy site the council is giving a twofingered gesture to the people of Ossett.
There were a lot of angry people at the meeting but this anger has been simmering for 30 years. Now Ossett people have had enough.
Ossett was supposed to get a swimming pool – but where is it? It was promised but Wakefield Council always had some excuse.
Wakefield Council has had no problem pocketing the rates, poll tax or council tax but it gives nothing back to Ossett.
Wakefield has shown its contempt for Ossett and at this meeting Ossett people showed the feeling is mutual.
From: Gerald Jarratt, Tingley
Council leader Mehboob Khan is rightly concerned at the proposed closure of Dewsbury’s Magistrates and County Court, but his analysis is flawed in that he opposes only the financial cuts rather than looking at the real reason behind the proposed closures.
In this, the councillor, like the rest of us, is being deceived by our political masters, in that these proposals are simply a rerun of the same exercise carried out in 2001 when Morley Magistrates Court, along with many others, was abolished on the grounds of costcutting.
As a nation, we are subservient to the dictates of the European Union. In reality, the Government is taking further steps towards complying with the Amsterdam Treaty’s requirement to impose CORPUS JURIS (an embryonic EUwide criminal code drawn up in 1997) on an unsuspecting British public, thereby creating a single “harmonised” judicial system throughout the EU based on continental (Napoleonic) law.
Specifically Article 26.1 of Corpus Juris excluded judgement by ‘simple jurors and lay magistrates’. No jurors, no lay magistrates.
None of the European Union’s plans include the freedoms of Magna Carta, the presumption of innocence, habeas corpus or jury trial.
Closing our courts and transferring work elsewhere inevitably means that many (unpaid) lay magistrates will have to resign, which is what the government wants so that they can fill any shortfall with paid (stipendary) justices, based on the continental (Corpus Juris) model.
We are asked to believe that replacing unpaid volunteers by paid professionals is a moneysaving measure.
Beware. Some 1,000 Britons have been extradited to Europe on the orders of European prosecutors, and are now subject to Napoleonic law without having the right to ask a British judge to test the merits of the case against them.
Five young men were deported to Greece on flimsy assault charges dating back to a holiday two years ago.
They faced up to 18 months in a Greek jail just awaiting trial.
So much for habeas corpus.
When I first put on a khaki suit in 1941 I was told “You are fighting to preserve the British way of life, you are fighting to keep your country free from foreign domination”.
Politicians have betrayed us and those who gave their lives to keep our country free.
From: Name and address supplied
It has been four months since the General Election and that seems an apt moment to see how our new MP Simon Reevell has been getting on.
I remember well the slogan that adorned all his election leaflets during the campaign, Simon will “put people before party.”
But like so many politicians before him he did not take long to disappoint us. Mr Reevell voted for the emergency budget in Parliament which in turn introduced huge public spending cuts this year and prepared the way for even deeper cuts over the next three years. So much for “putting people before party” Simon.
What makes it worst is that Mr Reevell must think the people of Dewsbury are stupid.
He votes in Parliament to support huge cuts in local services then in typical hypocritical political fashion he claims to support local schools – despite voting to scrap the Building Schools for the Future programme.
Then he has the audacity to launch a petition to save the courts in Dewsbury from closure which are under threat due to his Government’s spending cuts which he supported.
I am sure once the rest of his huge Government spending cuts start to bite into local services at Dewsbury Hospital, our local police services, local schools and regeneration projects, once these cuts start to cost local people their jobs, livelihoods and their homes Mr Reevell will be out in Dewsbury town centre once again shedding his crocodile tears and pledging to campaign to save our local services and stand up for local people.
Pull the other one, Simon, the people of Dewsbury are not that stupid and we can see right through you and we will remember it at the next election which I suspect will be here quicker than you would like it to be.
No Tory control
From: DV Turner, Heckmondwike
I am still puzzled about Paula Miller’s letter in The Press of August 27.
She seems to think that we have a Conservative government but we don’t – we have a government that noone voted for. We have a Coalition government of Conservatives of liberal inclination plus a Liberal Democrat tail that is wagging the dog.
I don’t think many Tories feel that they have a Conservative government or even that David Cameron is a Tory.
The ordinary working class people (a class that is rapidly diminishing in numbers) are being ignored? What’s new? We have been ignored for decades, not least by the last government – hence the rise of the BNP.
Crime of all kinds (not only sexual assault) and the apparently lenient and inappropriate punishments meted out are definitely an affront to ‘ordinary’ people but they are just as great an affront to the remainder of the lawabiding population.
From the gist of her letter I assume that Ms Miller’s sympathies tend to lie with the previous government. Has she considered the acceleration during the 13 years of that administration of the trend to treat offenders as misguided victims who are not really responsible for their actions?
She refers to a ‘taxpayer funded gated mansion’ – would that be No. 10 Downing Street? And if so who was in occupation until last May? It is the Prime Minister who is given this protection whoever he/she is and it is not peculiar to David Cameron.
As she correctly states, the government has been in existence for less than four months. It is therefore a little unrealistic to expect it to have already revised the penal code! However, considering everything else that requires attention it will be interesting to see how the nature of the mess we are in changes over the next five years.
From: Sam LloydJeffries, Mirfield
I wanted to highlight War Horse the stage show which is currently on at the New London Theatre and is really worth going to see. It is a marvellous piece of theatre about a boy and his horse caught up in the First World War.
I took my two sons on a trip to London to see it. We highly recommend it. It is a touching and extraordinary evening for the young and old. Powerfully moving and very imaginative.
The horses in the show are truly magnificent creations and astonishingly lifelike.
It is important the younger generation are reminded about how many soldiers lost their lives in World War I but horses played a big part in this war too. One million horses were sent to France from Britain. 62,000 were brought back.
This show portrays a part of our history that should never be forgotten. This show would make a great school trip.
Your LettersFriday 10th September 2010
Why workers decide to go on strike