The time has come and the strike is on.

I normally have some sympathy for the people who feel they are forced to strike - as unions are usually involved, it’s normal that all other avenues have been tried and tested with no success.

Employees will always feel they are worth more than the employer is willing to give, but in order to gain support by striking, the demands must be reasonable - and that’s where the strikers lose my sympathy in this case.

The crux of the disagreement is the employee’s pension contributions.  At the moment, the employer does all the contributing and the employees make no contributions whatsoever.  What I wouldn’t give for a pension scheme like that - as I’m sure every other worker in the country would too!

In today’s economic climate this type of scheme is unsustainable - the company have said as much themselves, claiming that to continue with it would mean having to lose some members of staff in order to make ends meet.  Whether that’s true or just scaremongering who knows.

What is clear is that people get used to earning a set amount and anything that is going to result in a reduction in that sum will always lead to opposition.  What these people need to realise is that although they may see £100 or whatever less in their paypacket each week that money is in fact still their’s - the employer hasn’t taken it off them to keep for themselves!

As hard as it was at the time, I’ve been paying money into my pension for ten years now.  For sure I could have done with that money at the time and it’s a gamble that I will be about in thirty or so years to enjoy the fruits of these contributions when I claim my pension, but it’s a risk I felt I had to take.

My employer makes a decent contribution too, but to leave it all down to them seemed a crazy thing to do, so I’ve tried to pump in as much as I possibly could over the years while still leaving myself a decent sum to live on month to month.

Back at Grangemouth, during negotiations the workforce seemed to be sticking solidly to their belief that the employer should be providing their entire pension contribution rather than sharing it with the individual employee.  They say that their contract says this should be so, which is fair enough - but these contracts were written some time ago and it’s changed days since then.

Surely they should be able to see that each individual employee taking a small hit in the paypacket is better than a smaller number of employees losing their jobs altogether to pay for their stubbornness?

I’m failing to find any sympathy for their “plight” at all - and the fact that the whole country is being affected I’m sure will ensure that the majority of the population will be feeling the same.