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Anyone watch the documentary on the box this week? I found it fascinating. Was anyone on here affected by the dispute?

One thing I don't really understand is this... If the company said "we're losing millions so we're going to offer reduced terms to keep folk on?" my reaction would be, ok I'll accept the new terms or I'll find another job.

Maybe it's because I've never really experienced Unions in the workplace but I just don't really understand the mindset where you'd alienate management and forfeit wages to aggressively picket outside a company's gates for months on end.

Don't get me wrong, I respect for people standing up for what they believe in but in my experience big companies close ranks and make it incredibly hard for you to beat them.

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Missed it due to a wee holiday, but downloaded it from iPlayer (BBC Scotland, Tuesday 15th "The rise & fall of Timex Dundee" for anyone who missed it) & watched last night.

Although I remembered the events, I was living abroad at the time, so would have seen none of the TV coverage. 

It's still believed by many that Timex were looking for a way out, to move their production to the Asian market, where they could make huge savings on labour costs....though they would have known that this was a very skilled workforce, as the programme highlighted....a large number of former jute mill workers, used to very quick, nimble, machinery operation, and easy to retrain for the very manual watch assembly process.

There's also the issue of this announcement being made on Xmas Eve, when, as mentioned, families relying on those weekly wage packets to make ends meet, would be most stretched by the financial strain of the Xmas/New Year period. The timing had to be a deliberately controversial choice by Times management, surely? 

The initial Timex 'offer' was to make 50% redundant (the white & brown envelopes they handed out), it was the local union reps & workers who had suggested to Timex that they all work 'half time', by only working every second week, effectively 2 people job-sharing every position. One of the women interviewed mentioned that they were well paid, compared to other local industries, so they would still have been able to 'make do' on a 50% wage cut. Timex refused to consider this....a curious decision, if they really wanted to keep the factory going....it was mentioned at the start that their orders had fallen significantly that year, presumably due to the increased popularity of digital watches from firms like Casio.  

Re the option to 'find another job'....although the 70's was possibly the worst time for job losses in Dundee, there would still have been significant unemployment by the early 1990's, so it's unlikely there would be many options. I think (it wasn't mentioned) that would explain how Timex were able to find the replacement 'scab' workforce fairly easily?

Although I knew a few guys who had worked in their other factory, a few may have transferred to the Camperdown one, but I'd been away from Dundee for 15 years & lost contact. One of our wee group who goes to Dens told me he was on the picket line for a while, as a union rep from a sympathetic other union.

One thing that came across from the documentary was how the initial 'friendly humour' between strikers, local union reps, local police eventually changed....when police were shipped in from other areas, politicians & union leaders started to appear for the TV opportunity, and the numbers of non-local very aggressive 'union people'  started to appear. The locals all seemed consistent, that they were unhappy with this change. Tommy Sheridan seemed to be given a surprisingly prominent focus....but it was amusing that almost everything he said was followed by contradictions from local police, union reps, and workers.

 

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Just watched it tonight. Found it very interesting. 

I've heard snippets as I was relatively young when it was going on and even now, those who shared the line still contradict one another. 

Also learnt that Tommy Sheridan has always been a walloper. I thought it was just the last decade he took a nosedive. 

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