Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Alan Travis — National archives: Margaret Thatcher wanted to crush power of trade unions

"We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty," Margaret Thatcher speech to the backbench 1922 committee, July 1984.
In case anyone had any doubts.

Union busting is a top priority for neoliberals, who see unions as the major obstacles to social, political and economic control in representative democracy — as Karl Marx foresaw. Neoliberals views trade unions as "socialism."

The Guardian (UK)
National archives: Margaret Thatcher wanted to crush power of trade unions
Alan Travis | Home affairs editor


googleheim said...

No maybe she just wanted to dig up Roman coins and mint her own MMT and play Japanese geisha lady in samurai clothes.

Ralph Musgrave said...

I supported Thatcher’s curbing of trade unions because at that time unions were behaving in a thoroughly irresponsible way. Plus it wasn’t just unions representing those on average pay that she attacked (unions tend not to represent those at the bottom). She also attacked the so called “professional associations” (i.e. unions) representing the very skilled: lawyers, doctors, etc.

From the point of view of economic theory, that made sense: unions are an attempt to establish a monopoly, i.e. a monopoly supplier of labour to a particular firm or industry. But against that, employers also try to establish and profit from monopoly practices, so there’s much to be said for a countervailing monopoly power: traditional trade unions.

However, two types of monopolies slugging it out with each other is not a brilliant way to run a railroad. But perhaps in reality it’s the least bad way.

Peter Pan said...

The wage contract between employer and employee is part of the problem. It motivates workers to form unions, as their interests do not coincide with those of their employer.