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Archive for November, 2010

RMT? Are you mad?!

I must be the most unlikely candidate to be a union representative, and yet here I am, nine months on… Yesterday I gave a presentation to 38 new members of staff in their corporate induction urging them to join a union. Any union. It was actually pretty exciting. I threw in a negotiation exercise for the first time to give people a taster of the difficult but rewarding work unions do, and they were engaged(!) Today, I gave advice to an individual who has been treated unfavourably in a sickness absence issue.

And yet I’m the same person who abhors the term ‘activist’. I tried a stint as an armchair activist once. This barely took off the ground as I quickly found a sense of loathing for my fellow activists. These were people who seemed to prefer wasting their energies on shouting very loudly rather than actually trying to make a dent.

For this same reason, I do not get on with feminists or vegetarians.

I joined a feminist group once and ended up arguing vehemently with the group leader that, surely, human rights were of higher importance than the rights of any one gender. This ended in her taking jibes at me whilst her groupies added in the occasional, ‘yeah, you tell her’. Needless to say, I have not been back, nor am I a particularly welcome member. I think they would have just preferred me had I said from the get-go, ‘man bad, woman good’…

Of vegetarianism, I once attended a vegetarian and vegan conference, which had stands, non-meat goodies, shampoos, conditioners and clothes without the added ham. I like my conditioner without ham, so this event excited me. However, it also attracted the types of vegetarians and vegans who are against immunisation and again, like to yell about stuff and things. Rather than leaving, as I had hoped, with a feeling of wellbeing and camaraderie, I left thinking ‘I don’t relate to ANY of you’. I also left full of the vegan cheese and jam treats my boyfriend and I had hovered over for the last half an hour.

I’m also the same girl who voted Conservative in the last elections which, as far as being a union rep goes, is a serious faux pas punishable by death and a removal of your union badge. This came up last week when I was helping out with a recruitment event to join new members. A full time officer who had joined us for the lunchtime mentioned her disgust for people who had voted them in. I had to stay quiet at this point though anyone who really knew me would have surely seen the absolute terror in my eyes at this point.

Bearing the above in mind then, I imagine it would hardly surprise you that I am about to say the following: Bob Crow? Don’t expect me to get behind this. We’re all feeling the burn; even the Queen. Get over it. Or better yet, why not split the six-figure sum you make from your members and spread the love.