A Woman's Place Is In Her Union
During my 25-year career as an air hostess with British Airways, I often had to rely on my trade union for advice, support and their ability to represent my interests as a worker.
I was proud to represent my colleagues as an elected shop steward. On four separate occasions, I was involved in the need to strike in defence of our wages, pensions and general working conditions.
Management spent millions deriding us and threatening staff with serious consequences if we abided by the democratic process of members to strike.
They were scary times indeed but we managed to win concessions and protect our basic conditions each time.
My dad was a shipyard worker in Govan and was involved in the UCS work-in of 1972. I guess his strong trade union ethos rubbed off on me.
Those memories came flooding back this weekend as I read of the potential strike at Grangemouth in defence of a union organiser and in opposition to job cuts.
The union involved is Unite. That was my union. I had the great pleasure of sharing the company of their general secretary, Len McCluskey, over dinner in London a couple of months ago.
We chatted about past and current issues in the airline industry. I am proud of what my union did and continues to do for members.
I know it can be unpopular but when it comes to trade union disputes and industrial actions I am firmly on the side of the workers. I have been in their shoes many times.
Attacked for standing up for wages, pensions and in support of fellow members. It's never easy to strike. In fact it's terrifying.
But sometimes you have to make a stand. So I want to offer my support to the Unite members at Grangemouth, the posties who will be striking on November 4, and other trade unionists forced into action.
Change The Owners Not The Jumpers
What about the Government numpty who suggested that we wear more jumpers in response to the horrible gas and electricity price hikes? Or the 'official' advice to 'shop around'?
The big six energy companies are making hundreds of millions in profits, paying their bosses obscene wages of millions and feeding the greed of shareholders all at the expense of already hard pushed families who are struggling to get by week to week.
Make no mistake, pensioners lives will be at risk.
Well I don't mind shopping around for jumpers but surely it's time to end this fuel price fiasco by taking the companies back into public ownership.
Then millions can be spent on reducing prices not paying fat cat bosses and shareholders. Essential services should NEVER be run for private profit.
Cillian Played A Blinder
On a lighter note, I savoured the final episode of BBC2's Peaky Blinders. Surely another series must be made. The cast was inspired. Cillian Murphy was great.
Well made dramas like that command your attention. Between Downton and the newly returned Paradise, the weekend is now choc-a-blockwith brilliant shows.
So it's me and a big box of Maltesers for the foreseeable future.