Partie 4 : Réalités économiques

Chapitre 32 : Labour relations

Social dialogue or strike?, page 70

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a trade union, a labor union
a union member, a trade unionist
an industrial/labour dispute
industrial unrest, labour unrest
a claim, a demand
a protest movement
to walk out, to go on strike
a striker
the right to strike
to work to rule
to picket
a demonstration
to take to the streets
to negotiate
to reach a deadlock
to resume work

London Underground workers are planning to walk out in protest at the new working hours. Last-ditch talks aimed at averting the industrial action are taking place.

Fast food workers are taking to the streets to demand $15 per hour minimum wage.

Pay issues, page 70

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a salary
an income
a payslip
a wage claim
a pay settlement
a wage increase, a pay rise, a pay raise
an allowance
an incentive bonus
paid holidays, a paid vacation
sick pay
a retirement pension

You talk about “wages” for someone who works in a shop or in a factory. Otherwise you use the word “salary”. Thus, a teacher or a banker gets a salary, not wages. However the set phrase is “minimum wage”.

Food for thought, page 71

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Every nation has its narratives or myths or popular stories, which are given names and remembered long after the event.

“The general strike”
If you talk about “The general strike” in the UK, people are likely to think of the “1926 general strike”, which is regularly mentioned in popular culture. It was the only general strike in British history. Union leaders in the UK tend to think that action through political parties is preferable to general strikes.

“The British disease”
The phrase “The British disease” describes the pattern of strikes and industrial unrest in the 1970s and early 1980s supposed by many to be prevalent in Britain at the time.

“The Winter of Discontent”
In the winter of 1978-1979 there were widespread strikes in the United Kingdom, especially in the public sector. It was also a very cold winter, with blizzards and deep snow, and the economy was in a bad shape. The phrase “The Winter of Discontent” was used by politicians and commentators of different parties to describe the situation. The phrase is from the opening lines of Shakespeare’s Richard III: “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York.”