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How to beat the unions

Four years ago I worked in Reims, a 20 minutes bus ride or an hour on foot from home.

It was a rainy year and there were frequent bus strikes. I often asked adult retired students if they could pick me up.

Towards the end of the year, I tried to organise the class in a small teashop that I run.

I emailed students, informed the school and a fellow teacher.

But students who hadn’t got the email weren’t told about the change of location.

My contract was not renewed the following year. I believe the strikes lost me my job!

The UK was held to ransom by unions in the early years of Mrs Thatcher’s government.

The unions had brought the UK to near ruin. At the time, votes were taken in open meetings by counting raised hands.

Mrs Thatcher legislated ballots must be secret postal ones, and subject to independent scrutiny.

The second thing she brought in was that for a strike to happen there must be a majority of more than 50%. These measures broke the power of union leaders.

Strikes in France are still voted for by a show of hands. I used to teach air traffic controllers and they often did not know why they were striking.

Joy Brodier, Marne

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