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  • Writer's pictureC.K. Fraser

Labour and your Right To Withhold.

Fucking standby. Late, as usual, to the party.

From the ashes of Hot Strike Summer comes the Winter of Discontent (although milder than the strikes from the 70s/80s), where the Government, their brain ever Galaxy sized, is pulling a "how do you do, fellow kids?" and shouting from their boozy piss stench filled corner of the pub: "but yeah, don't we all hate those nurses?!". Given that IPSOS states that only a third of those surveyed are opposed and the Observer’s polling says 60% support, the Government’s shit-pantsed hot takes are falling flat.

Given that Nurses have had a 10% real terms pay cut over the last decade and the British Medical Journal states Junior Doctors have had a whopping 25% real times pay cut. Double this with the removal of bursaries so Nurses need to get £30,000+ in debt to get a shit paid, high stress and long-houred job, it's a miracle we have any semblance of a public health service. Also, don't forget the other folks who work under the Medical Practitioner umbrella such as Physios, and the porters/cleaners et al.

Workers have very little power. Yes, in the UK we are not an "at will employment" bonfire shit heap like some backward US state, but we are not much more of a worker friendly country, which Germany and the Scandinavian countries can boast. Collective action is all we've got and now even that's under threat. I quite like my 37.5 hour work week, 21 days minimum holiday and (shit but at least) statutory sick pay. This can all be taken away in the Tory/Neo-Liberal "bonfire of regulations" and, if anything, we should be protesting for more, not to retain a bare minimum. We should be taking a leaf out of the book of the French when it comes to fighting for our rights - they recently started rioting again because the pension age raised from 62 to 64. Ours is closing on 70, with the Government now rumoured to up it to 68 by 2035. I do not want to work until I die, lads.

Our grandfathers and grandmothers (and fathers and mothers) didn't put their lives and livelihoods on the line so we could lay supine whilst our rights are taken away. But what can we expect in a land with no written constitution and where the gentleman's handshake is supreme? Who'd've thunk that it would not survive when the gentlemen cross their fingers as they shake hands?

Join a Union.


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