Friday, September 18, 2009
The Joy of High Heels
I see that the dinosaurs of the TUC, who are convening in Liverpool this week, are once again proving their "relevance" for the 21st century.
Amidst the most serious recession that we have had in generations, facing cuts in public expenditure, facing a pensions crisis in the private sector and an ending to the public sector defined benefit pension schemes what do the "brothers" and "sisters" of the TUC talk about?
The TUC have deemed that high heels in the work place are dangerous (and they don't mean on the factory floor, but in the office), and have called for employers to carry out risk assessments on women wearing high heels at work.
Aren't men allowed to wear them too?
The "brothers" and "sisters" have demanded that women wear "sensible" shoes to work.
Errmm...surely women are able to decide for themselves what they will wear to normal office jobs (within the confines of good taste and decency etc)?
The motion received overwhelming support.
Doubtless world leaders will stop what they are doing, trying to salvage the global economy, and rush to carry out the TUC's bidding!
This nonsense reminds me of a tale that my late father (a captain in the Merchant Navy) told me about his "amusing" interactions with British dockers in the 50's/60's.
Dockyard practices were rigidly applied, and were based on agreements between the powerful dockers' unions and management of the docks. Should you wish to unload your cargo on a Saturday the rules were particularly inflexible.
Primarily the dockers were only on duty for 3 hours on Saturday, for which they naturally received double time. Time and motion studies had concluded that it took 30 minutes for the average docker to walk to the ship, and a further 30 minutes to walk back. This of course counted as part of the working day, and so only 2 hours were left for the docker to actually "work".
Time and motion had also dictated that it took 45 minutes to open the cargo holds, and another 45 minutes to close them. This left some 30 minutes in which the cargo could be unloaded.
However, no doubt exhausted by the gruelling schedule, our hardworking dockers needed a break. Therefore two tea breaks, of 15 minutes each, were built into the day. The result, dockers were paid double time not to come to work (after all, what was the point of coming into work to open and close a cargo hold?).
My father tweaked their noses by ensuring that the holds of his ship were opened whilst still at sea, thus the dockers had to come into work to unload the cargo.
Irate docker - "You can't do that mister!"
My father - "I'm the captain, this is my ship; I will do as I please when it is at sea!"
Needless to say working practices like that ensured the destruction of the once thriving dockyards in the UK (something that Hitler had failed to achieve), as container ships moved to unload their cargoes on mainland Europe.
Clearly the TUC is still staffed by the same type of bone headed, obstinate mules that once ruled to docks.
Fortunately no one listens to the TUC anymore!
PS substitute "TUC" for "FCC" to fully enjoy the song.
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