As I came into work today I saw Unison’s pensions advert calling for a general strike on 30 Nov. This brief post is not a rebuttal of the strike or the pension changes. There is plenty online about both already. I’ve a quick point to make about vocabulary.
Unison informs us all that the strike ballot is about a “pensions robbery”. Now, a definition of robbery I would hold to the word is: ‘The act of forcibly taking an object that is in the possession of another person/company/organisation.’
I hope you wouldn’t argue too much against that.
Based on this I think Unison are mis-informing us. The reforms (huge caveat: as I understand them) are about changing future contributions, not past accrued contributions or what is already in your pension pot. Therefore, based on the definition above there can be no robbery, people don’t own what they thought they might get in the future.
It’s a side issue, but it annoys me. It assumes that UNISON members (of which I’m not one) and the public don’t know what the details are and takes advantage of that, using a word with negative emotional connotations and not dealing in facts. Also known as propaganda.
Berate me in the comments if I’ve got it all wrong.