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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 September 2012

March together - strike together

March together - strike together

Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) chair

"Why did 80,000 people boo Osborne? Because that's the maximum capacity of the Olympic stadium!" Tweets like this and the booing itself at the Paralympics reflect the colossal and rising anger against Chancellor George Osborne and the entire cuts coalition.

Rob Williams NSSN chair, at the lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

Rob Williams NSSN chair, at the lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi   (Click to enlarge)

But working class people have the potential to not just heckle but remove this government of the super-rich.

The TUC holds its 2012 congress at a crucial time. So divided is the Con-Dem coalition that at times it seems a strong gust of wind could blow them over as they argue over a third runway at Heathrow or House of Lords reform.

Yet this is the government that has implemented billions of pounds worth of cuts, sacked 400,000 public sector workers, trebled tuition fees and much, much more. If they stagger on in office for the full term, the remaining 80% of the austerity measures they threaten could follow, further decimating working class people's lives.

Strike action

Bob Crow, general secretary RMT, will be speaking at the lobby. Here he addresses the National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC 11 September 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson

Bob Crow, general secretary RMT, will be speaking at the lobby. Here he addresses the National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC 11 September 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

But they can be stopped! On 30 November last year (N30) over two million public sector workers took strike action to defend their pensions. If this had been escalated, a total victory could have been won, probably terminally damaging Cameron's coalition.

Since then, groups of workers in the private sector - the construction electricians, the bus drivers for example - have also shown a huge determination to fight back.

Scandalously, though, union leaders such as Unison's Dave Prentis broke up that N30 strike alliance. They signed up to the outline of an agreement that still means most workers will pay more and work longer to get a lower pension.

N30, however, gave us a glimpse of the trade union movement's power. This truth must come out in the debates at the TUC congress. The NSSN welcomes the demonstration that the TUC is calling against austerity on 20 October. We will do all we can to get a million on the streets of London, Glasgow and Belfast.

But we don't think that this alone will be enough to stop this government of the rich. We have organised a lobby of the TUC to call on the unions to follow up this march with a 24-hour general strike of the public and the private sector.

We call on TUC delegates to support the motion from the PCS union calling for further coordinated strike action and from the POA union for the TUC to consider joint action up to and including a general strike.

This is the fight of our lives - let's get organised to win!


March together - strike together

  (Click to enlarge)

Lobby the TUC for a 24-hour general strike

Sunday 9 September

Assemble 1pm at The Level park, Union Road, Brighton BN2 for march at 1.30pm to Brighton (conference) Centre for rally
www.shopstewards.net 07952 283 558
Speakers include:
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary

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In The Socialist 5 September 2012:


Fight the cuts

On 20 October... March Together and then we must... Strike Together! to end austerity

Osborne's cuts plans aren't working


Socialist Party news and analysis

Southampton council pay dispute

London Met university crisis

Con-Dems criminalise homeless people

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Marikana massacre ignites a political volcano


Countering the far-right

EDL rally stopped by anti-racists in Walthamstow

Stopping the far-right - The need for democratic debate


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Save Oaklands Pool

Building TUSC in Manchester

Fight begins against massive outsourcing by Knowsley's Labour council

Campaign Kazakhstan: Solidarity concert for those facing oppression

London Paralympics; protests against disability cuts: "Atos kills, kill Atos!"

Hospitals lacking services? Save our NHS!

Boris' workfare - no solution

Brighton Pride 2012: anti-cuts group blocked

Socialist Party subs appeal


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison Higher Education Service Group

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

From addiction to recovery

Volunteering at the Games


 

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