THE CONVERSATION:Rail strikes: words used to describe unions misrepresent the truth about how they work

Press/Media: Expert comment

Period23 Jun 2022

Media coverage

1

Media coverage

  • TitleRail strikes: words used to describe unions misrepresent the truth about how they work
    Media name/outletThe Conversation
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Date23/06/22
    DescriptionPublic discussion of pickets, politics and even profile pictures, have been a daily occurrence this week for Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT). As England, Scotland and Wales face severe transport disruption due to industrial action by the RMT, Lynch has appeared on multiple news programmes and has been quoted across the papers. As general secretary – or “union boss” – part of his job is to represent members by explaining that the strikes relate to a dispute over pay, conditions and proposed redundancies on the railway network.

    Many of these media mentions discuss the “union barons” that are “behind the strike” action, however. Such language not only denies railway workers their agency, it is an inaccurate characterisation of how strikes work in practice. It shows a lack of knowledge about trade unions within the media, perhaps due to the marked decline in industrial and labour correspondents since the 1970s.
    URLhttps://theconversation.com/rail-strikes-words-used-to-describe-unions-misrepresent-the-truth-about-how-they-work-185707
    PersonsHolly Smith

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Work and Equalities Institute

Keywords

  • stikes
  • language
  • trade unions