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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 July 2011

After 30 June pensions walkouts

Next step: one-day public sector strike

Rob Williams, National Chair, National Shop Stewards Network
On the London demonstration during the 30 June public sector pensions strike, photo by Paul Mattsson

On the London demonstration during the 30 June public sector pensions strike, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

On Tuesday 28 June, two days before 750,000 public sector workers walked out against vicious pension cuts, Tory prime minister David Cameron said: "At a time when discussions are ongoing, I would say to you: these strikes are wrong".

He then went on to insist that the government would not change its course on the attacks - what kind of 'discussion' is that? In reality the government is determined to slash hardwon pension rights.

But the 30 June strikes, involving the PCS civil servants' union and teachers and lecturers in NUT, UCU and ATL showed the willingness to fight the Con-Dem government's attacks.

Now, around the country people are asking "what next to stop the millionaire axe-wielders?" As with the magnificent TUC demonstration on 26 March, the coalition has been shaken by the first coordinated strikes since it came to power.

They have responded with threats of yet more anti-union laws - already the most undemocratic in Western Europe - and Tory education secretary Michael Gove's pathetic attempts to set up a scab army of parents to foil striking teachers.

But we're still facing 81 billion cuts to our jobs, services and pensions. Socialist Party members and the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) gave out thousands of leaflets on 30 June calling for a 24-hour public sector general strike to escalate the action to defeat the government.

We agree with the words of PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, who said: "We have to turn 750,000 out on 30 June into four million in the autumn". This means bringing on board the other public sector unions, in particular the 'Big 3' - Unison, Unite and GMB.

On 11 September, the NSSN will be lobbying the TUC to call for this coordinated action. The solidarity rallies on 30 June showed that strikes against this government's cuts agenda are overwhelmingly popular.

The victims, many of them isolated, suffering from the attacks on social services, children's services, housing benefit, etc can see that at least someone is fighting these cuts.

But Labour leader Ed Miliband has criticised the strikes. He has also pulled out of the Durham Miners' Gala because he doesn't want to stand alongside Bob Crow of the RMT transport union.

Yet again this shows the absolute necessity of the unions creating a new mass workers' party to give a political voice to our class. Socialists are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Bob, the RMT and all workers, young people and campaigners against this government.

The RMT's recent victory on the London Underground showed the whole union movement that victories are possible with a determined leadership and if we are prepared to strike together.


Click here for reports of the 30 June strikes.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 July 2011:


30 June pensions strike

Next step: one-day public sector strike


Socialist Party editorial

Con-Dems' pension attack demands coordinated and determined response


Unison conference

Unison conference Socialist Party meeting spells out action needed

Unison delegates reject leadership proposals


Socialist Party news and analysis

Universities on the cheap!

Trade unionists must fight for LGBT rights

Western governments more concerned about business deals than human rights in China

News in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

'Hard lesson' for tube management as driver wins reinstatement

Shafted By AEI cables

'No redundancies!' say Forest Hill school teachers

Trade union news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save heart services for children!

Jobs threat at Derriford hospital

Nuneaton: exterminate the cuts!

Marching against cuts in Haringey


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Who speaks up for workers?


Socialist Party news

Why I left Labour - and joined the socialists

Public money into private firms' hands


International socialist news and analysis

Greece, Spain, Britain... We won't pay for their crisis

Syria: Regime steps up repression... but opposition continues to grow


Socialist Party review

The Pitmen Painters


Socialist Party features

Workers say: Renationalise the railways!

Private railways rip off fares

National Pensioners Convention parliament


Socialist Party events

Socialist Party summer camp - bigger and better than ever!


 

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