Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/12749
PCS president questions Ed Miliband over pension cuts
Janice Godrich, PCS national president, has quizzed Labour leader Ed Miliband from the floor of TUC congress over his refusal to support public sector workers taking action over cuts to their pensions.
Asking him what he would do to defend the pensions deal his party made with the unions in 2006 when in government, and if he would support public sector workers taking industrial action in the autumn to defend the deal, she offered Miliband the "opportunity to stand up for hundreds of thousands of public sector workers whose livelihoods are under attack".
To huge cheers she said his former cabinet colleague Alan Johnson had described the deal as "fair and reasonable" and the National Audit Office had recently said the changes meant public sector pensions were affordable and sustainable.
Miliband refused to offer his support to trade unionists forced to take industrial action against being made to pay more pension contributions to pay for the deficit caused by the banks, and to work longer for less pension.
Answering PCS's question he said the "best thing that can be done is avoid industrial action by the government being prepared to negotiate", ignoring the fact that the government is refusing to negotiate on the key issues.