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An Unlikely PR Boost For Unions

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An unlikely PR boost for unions

The general public seem mostly to be on the side of the workers on, or about to go, on strike.

The unions have played it well, with some promising material to start with, admittedly.

Surely, no one thinks nurses should be paid less.

At the RMT, Mick Lynch has fended off media attempts to paint him as Arthur Scargill, largely by talking directly to the camera whenever asked, challenging the premise of most questions, being funny, and having more information than the journalists.

One wonders if the good feeling, or at least understanding, towards the strikers will survive what is looking like a brutal winter.

How many cancelled operations, ruined family get-togethers would it take for the tide to turn? Especially among workers who may themselves have agreed a pay deal far below inflation.

I think the unions need to change the argument somewhat. Stop saying that the workers deserve the money and that the government should pay.

Get into the argument and show how that not only can the government afford it, they would be fools to themselves not to pay.

They should carry with them this piece by Martin Wolf in the FT (neither Wolf, nor the FT are secret communists).

Wolf says all of the government’s objections to the strikes are political, not economic.

The very idea that paying nurses properly would lead to surging inflation is plainly daft.

What, they all start buying Mayfair penthouses, bidding up the price of 911 Porsches?

Pay policy won’t influence inflation, he says. That’s down to macroeconomic measures – the Bank of England.

Taxes to increase public sector pay could be raised if there were a will to do it.

“It is in effect a political decision to make public sector employees pay for the government’s unfunded promises,” he writes.

Unite and the rest should shove this column under the noses of every minister, and quote it in their every statement.

The chief economics commentator of the FT is on our side, they could say.

e public on your side.

You can see the full results below.

Press release of the day

Tesla’s market value has plunged since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

Tulipshare, an ethical share trading app, says things need to change.

It says: “Backed by retail investors, we are asking Elon Musk’s pay to be linked to his performance on environmental, social, and governance metrics. The latest drop in Tesla stock demonstrates how Tesla is plagued with ESG issues – it is no surprise it has happened the same year it fell off the S&P 500 ESG index.”

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Will all three main central banks slow the rate of interest rises? Does that mean we can stop worrying about inflation?

2) How are Currys customers coping with the squeeze?

3) Do Biffa’s results justify its £1.25bn takeover price tag?

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