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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 October 2011

Strike on 30 November - no secret talks

For democratic control of all negotiations and industrial action

Trade unionists across Britain will have been angered to see reports that the TUC general secretary went to the Tory party conference a couple of weeks ago - not to protest at the government's anti-working class policies, but to hold secret talks to try to avert "mass strikes" against the attacks on pensions. The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) immediately released a statement, an extract of which is below.

The NSSN recognises the need for negotiations but these should be out in the open, involving all those unions preparing to take action on 30 November (N30), which could see up to three million public sector workers on strike - more than on the first day of the 1926 general strike.

So-called "private talks" can only confuse union members and activists at a time when millions will be balloting for strike action.

In any case, the clear message that has to be sent to the government is that only a total and complete retreat from their plans to attack public sector pensions would be enough to consider stopping the N30 strike.

The government's proposals will make public sector workers pay more into their pensions at a time of pay freezes - and when many of these workers have actually seen pay cuts because of attacks on their terms and conditions. The Con-Dems then want them to get worse pension benefits and wait longer to receive them. It has been calculated that the net effect will be to take a day's pay off each worker every month.

It is clear from this situation that the government is terrified of the N30 strike and is desperate to prevent it. But this should be the signal to keep the pressure up.

The TUC and the trade unions need to send a clear message of defiance to the Con-Dems and work to get the best possible vote for strike action on the maximum turnout and then to build for a massive strike on N30 that can appeal to private sector workers, young people and pensioners to defeat this cabinet of millionaires.

How to make N30 a success

Who is voting when

Lobby of Parliament

The main teaching unions: - ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NASUWT, NUT, UCAC and UCU are backing a lobby of parliament on Wednesday 26 October.

The National Pensioners Convention will also be attending to protest at the way that the change of indexation from RPI to the lower CPI is already robbing pensioners (see page four).

Assemble 12 noon, Victoria Gardens, Westminster, SW1.

March to the Department of Education to hand in the mass petition.

Plan now for more action

Martin Powell-Davies, a member of the national executive of the NUT writes a regular blog about NUT issues. In his latest entry, reporting on the recent NUT executive meeting and plans for N30, he finishes by saying: "The NUT executive will meet again in November to discuss what plans are being made for further action with other unions.

The NASUWT is talking about workload action - although their plans aren't yet clear. However, we are certainly happy to discuss joint 'non-strike' sanctions. However, it is strike action that will be the key.

I will certainly be calling for the union to name further days for action after Christmas if the government refuses to retreat. A rolling programme of regional strike action is being considered, as well as national strike days.

As I said at the NSSN rally [before the TUC lobby on 11 September], my own preference is for a clear step-up in our action - by calling a national 48-hour shutdown across the public sector."

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In The Socialist 12 October 2011:

Socialist Party youth and students

Interview with a Jarrow marcher

Marching in the footsteps of history

Low pay, no way!

Protest, demonstrate, occupy

International socialist news and analysis

US: Occupy Wall Street - Demanding jobs not cuts

Socialist Party workplace news

Strike on 30 November - no secret talks

'We have not gone away' say Southampton council workers

Construction electricians

60 printers sacked as bosses make a million

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party news and analysis

Sovereign debt crisis, recession... No way out under capitalism

Cameron's big 'them and us' society

Fox takes cronyism to new level

Wales Assembly budget: Labour piles on the misery

Kinnock's bigotry

Con-Dems' policies increase poverty

Fast news

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS protesters occupy Westminster Bridge

Health campaigners take Ascot by storm

Coventry by-election helps build socialist alternative to cuts

London elections - more support for TU/anti-cuts stand

Socialist Party fundraising

Socialism 2011 finance appeal

Socialist history

Battle of Cable Street 1936 - When workers stopped the fascists

The Socialist - readers' comments

Portrait of a pension pilferer


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