Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13369
PCS Left Unity National Committee:
DEFEND PENSIONS - ESCALATE ACTION
NAME DAY FOR NATIONAL STRIKE
Saturday 7th January 2012
Friends Meeting House (opp. Euston Station), London
11am - 4pm
Chair: Janice Godrich PCS President
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary
John McDonnell MP
Mark Campbell, UCU
Kevin Courtney, NUT deputy general secretary
Roger Bannister, Unison NEC (personal capacity)
Photo Elaine Brunskill
November 30th was the biggest show of strength from Britain's trade unions in living memory. It shook the coalition government and provided a firm foundation for the escalation of industrial action to defeat the unjustified attack on pensions and to challenge the coalition's pay freeze, cuts and privatisation programme.
At the TUC's Public Sector Liaison Group, Mark Serwotka on behalf on PCS argued the TUC should set the date for a further day of nationally coordinated strike action to bring the government into serious negotiations.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, photo Paul Mattsson
Although there was some support for this position, the TUC general secretary Brendan Barber argued that all the unions should sign up to a so-called "Heads of Agreement". This means the core issues, on which we took action - working longer, paying more and getting less - are surrendered, just as the government wanted. Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, argued for acceptance of this "deal".
It is almost beyond belief that when the confidence of the movement is at its highest point in decades as a result of November 30th and with an additional 100,000 recruits due to the action, such an abject surrender is being considered.
Now is the time to set the date, as early as possible in 2012, preferably January, for a further day of nationally coordinated industrial action which can be escalated by bringing even more unions on board including workers, like those in Unilever, fighting to defend private sector pensions.
The PCS Left Unity National Committee invites all activists from all unions to an organising conference on the 7th of January to debate how we can build the campaign to defend our pensions and fight the cuts and prevent any unacceptable "deal" that makes us work longer, pay more and get less.
This will be an organising conference, not just a debating forum. It is intended to arm activists with the issues so they can go back to their workplaces and into their unions in order to build a campaign that will secure justice on pensions.
To cover costs there will be a registration fee of £5 for waged delegates.