I take issue with Christine Donald’s letter on many fronts (Good old Britain; SN 16/4/13).
In fact the only thing remotely correct in the whole piece is that ‘demarcation’ caused the demise of the fine tradition of Clyde-side Shipbuilding, but I refer Christine to the “Ninety Ten Rule” first mooted by Cameron Ironworks in USA.
If something goes wrong in a company, then the workforce are 10 per cent to blame and the management are 90 per cent to blame, simply because the management make all the decisions!
Jack Jones, of the transport workers union, was wounded fighting on the side of the communists in the Spanish Civil War because he hated Fascism in any form, and Oswald Mosley in particular. I expect that Mrs Thatcher would have as heartily approved of Mosley as she did General Pinochet!
Sid Weighell, of the NUR, was steeped in the traditions of the railway, even founding a college so that railway men could advance themselves in life.
Frank Chapple, of the EEPTU, yes he was a member of the Communist Party in early life, but shunned it after the brutal way the Russians put down the Hungarian uprising.
He was the first union leader to democratise his men by using the fledgling computer in order to ballot his men, ALL OF THEM!
Where it all went wrong, was when, God knows why, power was funnelled down to the shop stewards, and therein lay disaster; in my experience, shop stewards are quite often the employees who like work the least, and therefore dislike their employer the most.
Thus the ‘politics of envy’ took hold of the unions. This was fomented by Mrs Thatcher, and she ultimately used it against them, so we now have the ghastly spectacle of union bosses acting every bit as greedily and selfishly as any investment banker or CEO of an FTSE 100 company; now there’s equality for you!
Torre del Mar