‘Unions must not abuse the right to strike’

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Have your say

the most widespread industrial action that the Capital has seen for many years will bring services across the city to a halt next Wednesday.

The one-day walk-out by public sector workers fighting to protect their pensions is likely to provoke opinions as polarised as they are passionate.

This newspaper believes the right to strike is absolutely fundamental for any workforce. It has helped to create many of the basic workplace standards that we all take for granted today and has been a cornerstone of the Labour movement for more than a century.

At the same time, it is crucial that unions and their members do not abuse that right.

Next week’s action will cause major disruption to tens of thousands of people. Operations will be cancelled, pupils will miss lessons and their parents will be forced to take holiday to look after them.

All these people will be making up their own minds about whether that inconvenience is justified.

Those that do not have the same pension rights that the striking workers enjoy are likely to have little sympathy. That is something that the strikers should bear in mind.

Many people will feel that a day of disruption is an acceptable way for public workers to make a point about a deeply felt grievance.

But that understanding is likely to dwindle fast if the walk-out is repeated in the days and months ahead.

Caught on camera

Commuters facing months of roadworks on the approach to the Forth Road Bridge would be forgiven for an animated response to the introduction of average speed cameras.

When, they might be tempted to scream, will we ever get the chance to drive at anything near the 40mph speed limit, never mind break it?

Of course, speed cameras will never be popular with most motorists, especially when they are as ruthlessly efficient as the average speed ones.

It will be hugely frustrating on the rare occasions you see a clear stretch of road in front of you to be forced to keep trundling along so slowly.

But at least these cameras are being installed for a specific reason – to avoid accidents during building work on the Replacement Forth Crossing.

Evidence from elsewhere in Scotland suggests average speed cameras can dramatically cut road accidents and deaths.

And, who knows, they might even keep the traffic flowing better through these interminable road works.