Monday, 1 November 2010

What a waste of bloody money.

It is bad enough that money is taken from our pockets and pissed up the wall with gay abandon on projects you'd never even be able to dream up, let alone support. It is even worse when you willingly surrender your income for a service and then find that you've been stabbed in the back.

What am I going on about? This:

Staff at Breckland Council will no longer be paid for the time they spend smoking after the proposals were given the go-ahead.

Simon Clark, from smokers' lobby group Forest, said everyone was entitled to a break during work.

That's old news. We've heard this story before. But here's a new spin:

The group described the plan as "tyrannical", but council management, unions and workers backed the change.

Council management I'd expect no more of. Workers come in the same group as 'the people' in Righteous speak, they are a homogenous mass, of one opinon and utterly identical to each other. But the unions? What the fucking flying fuck?

I don't even know where to begin. I really don't.

Firstly, I bet I can guess which unions are involved in this, at least two of them, and they are biggies.

What the hell? Are members paying their subs only to find that when management penalises people for engaging in a perfectly legal activity, an activity which sits very much in a bracket with other perfectly legal activities, the unions actually support it? As the bloke from Forest says:

Some take coffee breaks others go out for a cigarette.

In the old, old days, you could smoke at your desk, but they are long gone. I don't object to that. In the old days there was a smoking staff room where I worked, people would take their work in with them, so the loss to the business was nil, now we've been sent outside, from our sealed and vented room which no non-smoker had to go into, and having been sent outside we find ourselves being penalised for doing what we've been told to do.

Ah yes, but you don't have to smoke.

True, but then I don't drink tea or coffee, you don't have to drink it either. So why the fuck aren't you clocking off when you go out to get your umpteenth fix of caffeine of the day? Oh, they'll come for you eventually, your addiction will become as anti-social as mine, make no mistake, they're coming. Don't come crying to me. You've spat in my face, when your time comes, I will point, dance and laugh at you until I'm sick.

I'm getting side-tracked here. For a union to take subs from members under the pretence of representing their desires and interests, and then to arbritrarily abandon those members, members who are engaging in an activity which harms no other members, nor the union as a whole is a sickening betrayal.

I disagree with the TUC affiliated unions on a good number of subjects, but give them their due, they will support (by and large) the terms, conditions and rights of their members, even when those demands are excessive, outdated and completely against the interests of the public that fund them.

But this? This is a total betrayal, and if were a member of one of these unions, I would be livid.

The thing is these unions, the really big ones, I'm talking PCS and Unison here, the two I'm convinced are behind this capitulation, aren't really about staff in the way unions were when they first came into existence. They are more about politics than staff t&c's, it is the members' job to pay their subs and then dance to the tune which is played for them.

How loudly would they squeal if a clock was put on the computer terminals in the office to measure how much time was spent on ebay or slebrity news websites? How high would the pitch of that squeal get if that time was then knocked off staffs' flexitime?


Treacherous, spineless, hypocritical cowards. The fucking lot of them.

If you are a member of the union(s) behind this capitulation and you smoke, make no mistake, this will not be confined to one anonymous district council in Norfolk, it will come to your office soon and the precedent has been set. Be a good drone, pay your cash and do what you're told. They know best. Not you.


JuliaM said...

The PCS & Unison are the biggest civil/local govt service unions, aren't they?

As such, they have been first in the queue to kowtow to every politically-correct fad going, so anyone still paying their dues under the impression that the union cares about principles rather than what makes them look good is, frankly, fooling themselves...

Anonymous said...

Playing Devil's Advocate for a moment here. Do you think smokers should be allowed in essence to work shorter hours than non smokers? I am afraid I can't work up too much sympathy. Having worked for years in offices where the smokers routinely took several smoke breaks per day. I as a non smoker came to resent this. I suggest you take a timer and tot up the time spent on smoke breaks. Let us know how much time you spend every day not doing actual work.

Snowolf said...

And how much time do people not smoking stand around making a cup of tea or coffee discussing the soap operas? I'll bet it takes up more time than going for a smoke.

As I said, we used to have a room we'd do work in whilst we had a cigarette. Work time lost? Nil.

But despite the fact that non-smokers never had to go into these rooms they were taken from us.

Go and read Leg Iron.