– I was interested to see your story on Amicus and the GMB fighting over equal pay claims regarding Amicus’ own staff (Personnel Today, 26 September).
It has helped to confirm something I have long suspected: unions are becoming more concerned with their own existence than with really helping their members.
In the past, the unions have, by and large, been a force for good, and I’m happy to admit I have enjoyed all sorts of workplace benefits that would be denied to me if the Brotherhood (and Sisterhood obviously) had not been so successful.
However, that battle is over and the unions won. But where does this leave the Brotherhood (and Sisterhood)? In my opinion, they are now fighting for their survival, and not necessarily in the best interests of their members.
As a selfless public servant, I have had to contend with the whole age-of-retirement issue on which the government backed down, despite the astronomical cost of keeping a retirement age of 60 for all serving civil servants.
Surveys all seem to say people want to work later, and the unions will be the first to support age claims from people who have been denied the chance to spend their twilight years at their desk. The unions will do whatever it takes to have their cake and eat it.
Ideally, I’d like unions to follow the example of King Arthur and go and hide under a hill until workplace liberties are challenged again, at which point they can come charging back. However, realistically, they’ll fight an ever-more aggressive rearguard action that is not in the interest of their members, or the nation.