Tag Archives: scab

Union Power, Kyriarchy and the Scab

The last blogpost generated quite a bit of discussion in various places about the use of the term “Scab”, the power it holds and when its use is appropriate.

Only two schools in Glasgow were open on N30, both heavily picketed with lively and cheerful, if a bit damp, strikers.  A number of non-unionised workers crossed the picket lines and as might be expected they were challenged about whether they really wanted to work when other people were losing a day’s pay for the terms and conditions that they too enjoy.  People crossing picket lines and entering  unionised workplaces during an industrial dispute can generally be divided into three categories.

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On the Use and Misuse of the Term “Scab”

Yesterday saw the biggest strike in the history of the UK.  With 3 million workers refusing to labour after the government attempted to cut pensions provision – attempting to make public sector workers pay more and work longer for less pension.  Unfortunately as with almost all disputes, some workers did cross picket lines and did go into work.  The recognised term for such worker is “scabs” and a discussion grew up afterwards about the origins and use of the term.

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