Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/678/12346
We can win together
Martin Powell-Davies, NUT national executive
The streams of people turned to rivers, and the rivers turned into a flood as delegations of striking trade unionists from all four corners of London converged on Lincoln's Inn Fields for the demonstration against pension robbery on 30 June.
Both in London - and at the dozens of rallies across England and Wales - the unions jointly launched a Fair Pensions for All petition demanding that all workers and pensioners have dignity and decent living standards in retirement.
I was asked to speak at the overflow rally outside Central Hall to address the many marchers that could not make it inside the hall. Before I spoke, a Lewisham Unison member and teaching assistant explained that he had joined the rally today to show his support.
To cheers, he added that, in the autumn, Unison and other school staff unions must all be on strike together. I asked the marchers to "look around and feel your strength".
"This government may have thought they were going to get away with their cuts but now they know that the trade unions are on the march. They tried to claim that 40% was a low turnout for a ballot - but teachers have voted with their feet today with 80-90% of schools closed or partially closed across London.
"The press try to claim we haven't got public support but the response from parents and drivers passing our picket lines has been excellent. People want to see someone standing up to this government's cuts at last - and that's what they see us doing today.
"In 2005-6 the threat of united action forced the last government to retreat over pensions attacks. We can do the same in 2011. If we strike together, then we can win together."
London trade unions public meeting - all welcome
TUC must organise a 24-hour public sector strike
Monday 18 July 6pm, Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, W1T 6AQ
Called by the NSSN, RMT, FBU, PCS, CWU
Chris Baugh assistant general secretary PCS • Martin Powell-Davies NUT executive, personal capacity • Steve Hedley RMT London organiser • Mark Palfrey CWU London divisional rep Ben Sprung FBU London organiser
In The Socialist 6 July 2011:
30th June strike and after
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