Sauce for the goose

A heartwarming Christmas tale in the DT of striking Unilever workers going without their Christmas hampers.

Approximate sequence of events:

  1. Unilever finds £680m hole in its final salary pension scheme
  2. Unions and Unilever have 8 months of talks about terminating the scheme
  3. Unilever ends talks, axes scheme (which, let's face it, was the inevitable conclusion)
  4. Unions protest, ballot, strike
  5. Unilever cancels traditional (discretionary!) Christmas hampers, parties and bonuses for strikers
  6. Strikers whine "it's not fair!"
Unite national officer, Jennie Formby, said it was "spiteful" of the company to cancel Christmas perks for staff on strike. She said: "First Unilever slash pensions, now they're cancelling Christmas celebrations."

This, Jenny my love, is the downside of strike action. You did realise that there was a downside when you were encouraging your workers to strike? If you remove goodwill from the worker side (an absolute right, along with the absolute right to withdraw one's labour) then you don't have room to complain when the employer withdraws their goodwill too.

Fortunately, there are still winners:

Unilever has chosen to cancel striking workers' Christmas parties, hampers and bonuses, instead opting to give away thousands of hampers to charity, along with £15 gift vouchers.
What's wrong Jenny, do you feel your members are more deserving of the hampers and money than charities? Whatever happened to concern for the poor?

Unilever, I like your style - if not your Marmite.

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