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Peter Hadden

A strong union

(November 1974)

From Staff, Journal of the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance, November 1974.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

Editorial Note from ETOL: This article was found in Peter Hadden’s personal archives, Belfast, with a note in his handwriting indicating that this otherwise anonymous editorial was actually written by him shortly after starting to work for the Public Service Alliance, the primary public sector union in Northern Ireland.

“Crisis” – This is a word constantly in our ears these days. For different people it means different things. Flick through the business pages of our newspapers and you find what economic gloom means to our business economists. “Inflation” and “stagnation” are almost catch phrases to these people. So much that a new word has been added to our vocabulary – a word intended to summarise our malaise – STAGFLATION.

“Stagflation” is a word which succinctly expresses the slowing down of our growth rates, the lack of investment from private sources in the economy, and the continual spiral of inflation.

For is “crisis” is note merely summed up in such grandiose terms. It is measured in altogether mundane everyday problems. The “Nation” has its balance of payment problems. But so too does every household – the problem of balancing the weekly or monthly earnings against the increasing cost of all basic necessities.

There are those among the property owning classes who see the answer to the miseries of our economy in a reduction of living standards so that a bigger slice of the national cake goes in their direction. It is perhaps too obvious to need to say – (but in Northern Ireland where such things seem so often forgotten one can only wonder) – the thing which stands in their way is the power of the organised trade union movement.

A powerful and united movement – that is what we must aim for. But that depends on you. The power of any trade union is its members, its strength derives from the participation of its members in the functioning and decision making of the union itself – from branch through to conference level. And one way in which you can participate in the union is through the journal – by writing for it, by sending us reports of branch activities, and if you disagree with what is said by anyone in STAFF, by writing in and letting us know your disagreement.

Remember the PSA is its members, nothing more, nothing less.

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Last updated: 19 December 2014