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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13095

Posted on 4 November 2011 at 19:43 GMT

Unison members on the half-million strong TUC demo, central London, 26 March 2011, against the government's cuts , photo Paul Mattsson

Unison members on the half-million strong TUC demo, central London, 26 March 2011, against the government's cuts , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Unison members say YES to strike

Unison members have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action in defence of their public sector pensions.

It means that 30 November will witness one of the biggest single demonstrations of working class power since the 1926 general strike, and it is a decisive step against the Con-Dem government and its policy of austerity and cuts.

Almost 80% of Unison members who voted said yes to strike action, with a turnout of almost 30%. This is a great result and clearly shows the anger and bitterness that exists among the working class and their determination to fight back.

In fact such is the enthusiasm of public sector workers to fight back that thousands have been recruited to the union.

In the health sector, the vote was in excess of 80% in favour of strike action and will mean the first day of national action in the NHS since 1982.

The size of the majority in favour of action reflects not only the unprecedented attack on pensions, but also the government drive towards privatisation, and the relentless attacks on health workers' living standards.

It is clear that the latest government proposals concerning pensions represented no real concessions and were made with a view to winning public opinion and dividing the trade unions.

The Unison health service group executive (SGE), which met on 3 November, reflected the determination of members to take action against the government, with no compromise over our existing fundamental pension rights.

The dominant mood of the health SGE meeting was that all efforts must be geared towards building for 30 November in order to ensure what will be the biggest day of strike action that Unison has ever organised.

We also have to be prepared for a long struggle, with a strategy of action to build on 30 November, including further national coordinated action.

Roger Davey, Unison Health SGE (personal capacity)

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 4 November 2011 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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