Friday, October 16, 2009

Striking Out Against The Stereotypes

Recommended reading: a piece by Peter Lazenby, NUJ rep at the Yorkshire Post, on the Guardian's Comment is Free pages, putting the case for the postal workers (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/16/postal-workers-strike ).
Lazenby, whom I met during the Writing on the Wall festival in Liverpool earlier this year, summarises the real cause of the dispute, a macho management which isn't content just to administer a business, but also to rub the staff's noses in the brown matter. He also tackles the myth of the average union member as strike-happy:
"Working people do not take strike action lightly. They do so when every other door has been slammed in their faces. Striking is an act of desperation. It isn't fun. It's hard. It's financially punishing. At Christmas it's going to be even harder on the strikers and their families than on people whose delivery from Amazon is late, and even for the little old lady whose Christmas card won't be delivered."
Unsurprisingly, Lazenby's piece has attracted the usual comments from those who excoriate the postal staff. One wonders what such individuals would do if faced with a management equally bone-headed or worse at their workplace. Perhaps they already do work in an environment under such managers & meekly keep their heads down while berating those who have the temerity to stand up & be counted. It wouldn't surprise me.

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