Has going on strike ever achieved anything, I wonder?

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Has there even been a successful strike? – teachers and other state employees seem to have limited knowledge of our history since the Second World War when from a booming economic period of recovery, after the war, to a slow and steady decline.

Partly due to the strength of the unions together with weak and lazy management we have lost our competitive edge – the London dockers struck themselves literally out of jobs, although containerisation would eventually come along, striking, just speeded up the process.

The steel industry, ship building, engineering, car manufacturing suffered, over a period of years, from continuing strikes from a variety of issues, at times quite trivial, with inevitable consequences of accelerating costs creating failure then closure.

Once the coal industry employed 100,000 miners now today there are now less than 5,000, the print unions learnt the hard way that technology could not be stopped – nor could the rail unions by demanding that fireman should be employed in a diesel engine after the passing of steam.

Over the years we have watched in amazement how seemingly sensible people have followed blindly the dictates of union leaders, without question, standing pathetically on picket lines waving banners – subsequent result more jobs sacrificed in the cause of solidarity.

Did the protest march in London by students earlier this year actually achieve anything apart from alienating many people from their cause with the vandalism on shops and hotels and was it necessary to defecate and urinate on employees desks in the Conservative headquarters.

Hardly going to endear the students objectives to people needed to clear up the mess.

Finally one would have thought that teachers and civil servants should have above average intelligent but yet again highly remunerated union leaders on six figure salaries with expenses incite another recent pointless strike and march.

One young teacher when interviewed stated “that she was setting the children a good example by striking”! Perhaps she would be better employed teaching her children the simple basics of arithmetic which sadly so many lack on leaving school.

AL Stubbs

Saxon Way, Bourne

What a shameful response from Len Loullis in his letter last week, “striking for the sake of a day off.”

It makes me wonder if he ever went to school, or sent children to school or even has any appreciation of the integrity and hard work of the teaching profession.

As to striking while negotiating can I point out that the government are insisting that these changes must take place. How do you negotiate when faced by a brick wall.

It is only by showing unity and the ability to cause disruption that the teachers will stand a chance of getting the government to negotiate. I did hear that one of the unions had never been on strike in their long history, we are not talking about trouble makers for the sake of it, but hard working decent people protecting their futures.

Perhaps Mr Loullis has never had to face up to this problem so lacks the understanding.

We need to be asking our MPs, and their millionaire bosses why we taxpayer’s contribute only 11 per cent to a teacher’s pension while we have to contribute 31.5 per cent to an MP’s pension.

Not only that the MPs have not offered to take a cut in their pensions even though they are a part of the public sector and “the country is in such a bad position that changes have to be made” and we all have to tighten our belts.

George Hetherington

Kettering Road, Stamford