You may ask how on earth bins are related to the post. The simple answer is that these are two things that may not be collected. They say that one wedding brings on another, but it looks like that this also applies to strikes. The Winter of Discontent in 1978-9 saw widespread industrial action, where the country almost came to a stop. Is this really where we are now?
The postal strike has been widely publicised, but it’s not just your post that may not arrive. Bus drivers have been striking against First Bus in Greater Manchester and various other places following pay freezes. British Airways is to face the possibility of strike action over new contracts, working practices and pay freezes after talks broke down. The Spanish company Iberia had to cancel over 400 flights over two days due to protests, and in Leeds, rubbish hadn’t been collected for eight weeks.
So, what’s causing all of this discontent? Are we going to see more and more workers protesting over contracts, hours of work and notably pay?
One key thing about strikes is that they affect everyone, whether it’s walking past piles of bin bags; not receiving birthday cards; getting to work late; cancelling holidays or receiving fines for late payment, and even for not submitting your tax returns. These are all problems that people have been facing, not to mention the loss of income some businesses have seen, especially resulting from the postal strike. With the government looking to reduce public-sector debt by increasing taxes or spending cuts, including public-sector pay freezes and controls on banking bonuses, we could be in for another winter of discontent with further disruptions to come.
Gordon Brown faces ‘winter of discontent’ with further strikes Telegraph, Alistair Jamieson (26/10/09)
Christmas travel threat as BA cabin crew vote on strike The Times (27/10/09)
British Airways boss enjoys jolly in Las Vegas as Christmas strike is threatened Mirror, Clinton Manning (27/10/09)
Iberia cancels over 400 flights scheduled for today and tomorrow Avio News (27/10/09)
India’s Jet Airways reports loss, shares plummet AFP (27/10/09)
Hundereds of flights cancelled as Iberia workers go on strike Gadling, Sean McLachlan (26/10/09)
British Airways strike could be in the works again Travel News (8/10/09)
Leeds binmen strike: Union view Yorkshire Evening Post (26/10/09)
Pay row bus drivers strike again BBC News (26/10/09)
Postal union and bosses in war of words Mirror, Clinton Manning (26/10/09)
Postal strike hangover could hit Christmas Guardian, Jamie Doward and Martin Wainwright (25/10/09)
How the postal strike might change Britain BBC News Magazine (27/10/09)
Postal strike costs London £500m Parcel2Go, Tom Sands (26/10/09)
Postal strike: union warns of more disruption over £7 billion pension deficit Telgegraph, James Kirkup (26/10/09)
Postal union plans legal action BBC News (27/10/09)
Postal strikes: union takes legal action over temporary Royal Mail staff Telegraph (27/10/09)
Origins of the Royal Mail strike BBC News (22/10/09)
Pass notes: 2,672: The winter of discontent The Guardian (27/10/09)