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Crossing picket lines when in a trade union

(114 Posts)
Kiddiewinks2008 Thu 26-May-16 13:14:13

I'm a public sector worker in a trade union who is currently out on strike. I didnt vote for the action but feel that if I am in a union, then I have to support their decisions. I have had to use them in the past for bullying in work for which they were invaluable.
My manager is also in the trade union, has been lecturing non union members all week about the pay dispute and how the employers are in the wrong. And then crossed the picket line and went to work.

I'm really cross about it- I have lost pay etc but feel collective union power is undermined if we all dont support their action.

AIBU to be pissed off about manager crossing the picket line? I have no idea about the etiquette of strike action anymore but surely its defeating the object of a picket line.

therootoftheroot Thu 26-May-16 13:16:46

yanbu-i could never do it
it's letting everyone down
i bet bthe manager won't decline the improvemnet in pay/working conditions when it comes about

Rowanhart Thu 26-May-16 13:19:42

I am guessing involved in same action today and YANBU!

I think they should expel them from the trade union for strike breaking.

I didn't vote for it either. But I stand with the decision of my Union comrades.

Lots of people breaking strike today. Makes me so angry.

TheGirlWithTheArabStrap Thu 26-May-16 13:21:17

I completely agree with you. I would be furious.

PansyGiraffe Thu 26-May-16 13:25:05

Yup - if you've joined a trade union you should stand by the decision. They work because of strength in numbers and unity.

DH is not in your union but is hiding out at home and not doing any emails etc so not crossing the picket line.

Gottagetmoving Thu 26-May-16 13:27:50

The whole point is you support each other by abiding by the majority vote.
Really annoys me when people benefit from an action they would not get involved in.

EveryoneElsie Thu 26-May-16 13:28:23

YANBU and your manager is a hypocrite. flowers

alleypalley Thu 26-May-16 13:29:43


MintyLizzy9 Thu 26-May-16 13:29:43

In my experience only a very small number vote to strike. You pay your subs but you don't have to agree with everything they push or strike for.

witsender Thu 26-May-16 13:29:45

Yanbu. You want the support of your union, you have to support it.

MaudGonneMad Thu 26-May-16 13:31:18

If you're a union member and cross the picket line, you should be expelled from the union, as you clearly don't believe in the principle of solidarity.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 26-May-16 13:31:37

It's up to the union, if they feel it's important, then they can expel the individuals from the union.

An individual should certainly never be forced to do something simply because a majority of people in their club feel a certain way. If a politician always voted with their party no matter what their own personal views it would make a good democracy.

That equally doesn't make it wrong to agree with the vote and not cross the picket line even if you didn't vote for it, there are good reasons for doing that too.

Orda1 Thu 26-May-16 13:31:48


I have striking colleagues but I am not a member of the Union.

Just because you're in a union doesn't mean you have to agree with everything they propose.

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 26-May-16 13:32:22

YANBU. There's strike action here again today and while I'm not in any union (the Union represents a specific part of the workforce that I'm not part of) the people on the picket line have been friendly and courteous and I respect what they're doing.

BombadierFritz Thu 26-May-16 13:36:01

Yanbu. They should leave the union. mintylizzy if only a small number vote to strikr then a strike wont happen as you need a majority. If the majority cant even be arsed to vote then tough they should abide by the decision of the majority who actually voted. Nothing annoys me more than the ones who dont vote then moan about strike action. Vote against then!
Enjoy your day 'off' op.

TheWernethWife Thu 26-May-16 13:36:45

I've always been in a union (last one was UNISON) and would never dream of crossing a picket line. People saying that they could not lose a days pay but quite happily call the union in when it suits them are disgraceful in my opinion.

thecitydoc Thu 26-May-16 13:37:09

you do NOT ever cross a picket line whether it is yours or someone else's. I had meetings last year with a senior official of a public sector organisation to discuss a possible contract. The meeting was arranged before the strike day was called but I was not prepared to cross the picket line - I lost the work but kept my dignity and conscience,

Atenco Thu 26-May-16 13:38:23

"Just because you're in a union doesn't mean you have to agree with everything they propose"

You don't have to agree, but you do have to support the action once it's been decided.

silverpenny Thu 26-May-16 13:38:53

If you are not in union and you don't go into work it will be unauthorised absence

Orda1 Thu 26-May-16 13:40:06

UCU members are striking, I can't really work out who this means. Seems to be all the academic staff are off but the professional staff are here. I thought UCU was for all staff though...?

Littlecaf Thu 26-May-16 13:40:14


The whole point of a union is to withdraw your labour if it gets to a point when you can't negotiate. If you don't strike, you don't belong in a union.

DrDreReturns Thu 26-May-16 13:41:34

you do NOT ever cross a picket line whether it is yours or someone else's.

I don't agree with that. If you are in a union and they strike then you should not go to work, or you should leave the union. But if you are not in the union why should you not go to work? Sounds a bit like the closed shop to me.

Borogoves Thu 26-May-16 13:42:25

CityDoc- would you not even cross a picket line when you don't support the strike?

MaudGonneMad Thu 26-May-16 13:42:33

Most support staff in my place are in Unison, Ordo

Kiddiewinks2008 Thu 26-May-16 13:49:52

I'm professional staff but a UCU member- at my institution, you can choose which to join

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