Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Professional anarchy

Professional anarchy Editorial comment ANYONE WHO STOOD and watched the December 8 workers' march against the Industrial Relations Bill must have been impressed by one thing—how smoothly professional anarchy is these days. Any idea that the march was a spontaneous gesture is laughable. The tremendous organization behind it was so obvious; thousands of brightly-coloured posters do not print them­ selves on the spur of the moment. Each carried a slogan like 'Only Slaves Cannot Withdraw Their Labour' or, with a picture of a policeman, 'Intro­ ducing Your Next Personnel Officer'. Ordinary men and women do not think up such fear-mongering words. The saddening thing was that many of the marchers had little idea of what they were actually protesting about, their shouts were copied from television and their gestures from the football terraces. Some were embarrassed and defensive when asked about their case, others relied on cover-up phrases such as "We don't want to go to prison". They liked chanting at the Times building, the easy symbol of establishment. So what had inspired them to leave their jobs, breaking their contracts in doing so? What had made them take actions they had no doubt condemned student demonstrators for in the past? Certainly not the TUC, solidly against the move. Robert Carr was quite plain: A communist- backed body called the Liaison Committee for the Defence of Trade Unions. Th e strength of the organizers should not be underestimated. Their big mistake was to say in advance that they could pull out between 500,000 and a million workers, thereby allowing the government to point to the result as a failure. Mr. Carr had used the comparison between the state of labour relations at present and a football match without a referee—"There is trouble enough on the pitches now, what would it be like if the referee was not in charge?" It is fair to make a similar comparison to the size of the march. Estimates vary but an acceptable average is that 300,000-odd took part, enough to fill Wembley Stadium three times over. If no figures had been given in advance that total would have been frightening. It could have been considered a big enough threat to make the Conservatives call a snap election. Even before the TU C voiced such a fear, Mr. Carr had, although not in speeches, made it plain he thought that if the Tories went to the country they would get back with a huge majority. Fighting on the issue of the bill the Labour party would have had no answer. With such confusion—with those against the measures using the threat to jobs and freedom as a fear and the government putting up the ogre of strikes and anarchy—the result could only have been very damaging to industrial relations and the country. Therefore it is time for everyone to take a stand, if they have not already done so, before they are forced into it. Management may be wary of the bill, and Industrial Management is not completely happy about it, but the government are totally committed and must be given the opportunity of making it work. Faced with such an inevitable situation it is time for management to demonstrate, not on the streets, but with equal clarity, that they support the bill. Nobody can sit on the fence. END FEBRUARY 1971 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Industrial Management Emerald Publishing

Professional anarchy

Industrial Management , Volume 71 (1): 1 – Jan 1, 1971

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/professional-anarchy-0NBhesxKyM
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-6929
DOI
10.1108/eb056026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Editorial comment ANYONE WHO STOOD and watched the December 8 workers' march against the Industrial Relations Bill must have been impressed by one thing—how smoothly professional anarchy is these days. Any idea that the march was a spontaneous gesture is laughable. The tremendous organization behind it was so obvious; thousands of brightly-coloured posters do not print them­ selves on the spur of the moment. Each carried a slogan like 'Only Slaves Cannot Withdraw Their Labour' or, with a picture of a policeman, 'Intro­ ducing Your Next Personnel Officer'. Ordinary men and women do not think up such fear-mongering words. The saddening thing was that many of the marchers had little idea of what they were actually protesting about, their shouts were copied from television and their gestures from the football terraces. Some were embarrassed and defensive when asked about their case, others relied on cover-up phrases such as "We don't want to go to prison". They liked chanting at the Times building, the easy symbol of establishment. So what had inspired them to leave their jobs, breaking their contracts in doing so? What had made them take actions they had no doubt condemned student demonstrators for in the past? Certainly not the TUC, solidly against the move. Robert Carr was quite plain: A communist- backed body called the Liaison Committee for the Defence of Trade Unions. Th e strength of the organizers should not be underestimated. Their big mistake was to say in advance that they could pull out between 500,000 and a million workers, thereby allowing the government to point to the result as a failure. Mr. Carr had used the comparison between the state of labour relations at present and a football match without a referee—"There is trouble enough on the pitches now, what would it be like if the referee was not in charge?" It is fair to make a similar comparison to the size of the march. Estimates vary but an acceptable average is that 300,000-odd took part, enough to fill Wembley Stadium three times over. If no figures had been given in advance that total would have been frightening. It could have been considered a big enough threat to make the Conservatives call a snap election. Even before the TU C voiced such a fear, Mr. Carr had, although not in speeches, made it plain he thought that if the Tories went to the country they would get back with a huge majority. Fighting on the issue of the bill the Labour party would have had no answer. With such confusion—with those against the measures using the threat to jobs and freedom as a fear and the government putting up the ogre of strikes and anarchy—the result could only have been very damaging to industrial relations and the country. Therefore it is time for everyone to take a stand, if they have not already done so, before they are forced into it. Management may be wary of the bill, and Industrial Management is not completely happy about it, but the government are totally committed and must be given the opportunity of making it work. Faced with such an inevitable situation it is time for management to demonstrate, not on the streets, but with equal clarity, that they support the bill. Nobody can sit on the fence. END FEBRUARY 1971

Journal

Industrial ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 1971

There are no references for this article.