November 20, 2007

AND WE GET TO LIVE IN THE PROMISED LAND:

A trail blazed by Thatcher and Reagan (James Macintyre, 20 November 2007, Independent)

In 1979-90 Mrs Thatcher passed a series of measures that profoundly changed labour relations. The 1982 Employment Act curbed the so-called "closed shop", making it impossible for an employee to be sacked for not being a union member. Secret ballots – eventually made compulsory – dented the power of union leaders to decide on strikes. Secondary picketing and unions' legal immunity were banned. Once the miners' strike, led by Arthur Scargill, collapsed in the mid-1980s, the unions were effectively silenced.

Meanwhile, Mrs Thatcher unleashed a privatisation "revolution" on industries including coal, iron and steel, utilities, airlines and telecommunications.

Across the Atlantic, Ronald Reagan mirrored her monetarist, neo-liberal approach. Indeed, she was described by Hugo Young in his biography of her as "a kind of Baptist to Reagan's Messiah."


And thereby ushered in a, thus far, quarter century run of uninterrupted economic growth.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2007 7:05 AM
Comments

... until the Dems are strong enough to do the union boses' biddings to abolish secret ballotting. (Note: they have tried that recently, but were blocked by Senate Reps.)

Posted by: ic at November 20, 2007 4:21 PM
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