Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Why all talk of "union fat-cats" is deliberately untrue and perversely misleading


Search “union fat-cats” and there will be plenty of articles to choose from.   

If we go back a generation in the UK, it was the norm for the CEO or leader of an organisation to earn 4, 5 or 6 times the average salary within that organisation.  This was true of the voluntary and charitable sector, banking and the private sector as a whole.

Hardly any organisations or businesses have escaped the pure greed of our leaders.  The old differential of upto 6 times the salary has been lost.  Social inequality had rocketed, and the salary differentials are now so extreme it is hard enough to even comprehend them.

How many times greater is the salary of your CEO compared to you?  Chances are, it will be well into the hundreds, possibly the thousands. Not even the charitable sector has escaped this top-salary exploding madness.

I’m now going to point something out that nobody ever does when these “union fat cat” stories are trotted out.  When it comes to pay for it's officials, Unions have not changed.  Unions have not recently started doing anything different. Unions still do what they always did, which is what everyone else used to do!

That’s right – Union top salaries still tend to be in that area of 4, 5 or 6 times higher than the average in that organisation.  So next time a journalist tries to wind you up and writes “this union fat-cat gets £122,000”, try dividing that salary by 4, 5 or 6.  

Then be re-assured that our Trade Unions remain overwhelmingly decent.

Finally I make one last observation, one that should be obvious.  Taking a rational, sensible view of top bosses salaries, unions are the last organisations in the UK that should be being attacked.  With the possible exception of top-bankers, unions get attacked more than any other group.  The current situation is nothing more, and nothing less, than spiteful union bashing from the political wing of the wealthy.

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