Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15210

Posted on 11 September 2012 at 18:40 GMT

NSSN marching to lobby the TUC for a 24-hour general strike, 9.9.12, photo Sarah Mayo

NSSN marching to lobby the TUC for a 24-hour general strike, 9.9.12, photo Sarah Mayo   (Click to enlarge)

TUC passes general strike motion

Following what was described by one observer as the best debate she had ever witnessed at a TUC congress, union delegates voted overwhelmingly for 'motion 5', moved by the POA union (prison officers) in favour of a general strike against the government's austerity.

Although the wording of the motion qualified the general strike call, arguing for "coordinated action where possible with far reaching campaigns including the consideration and practicalities of a general strike", the sentiment and motivation behind it was made clear by the speakers in favour.

They pointed to the brutal attacks being made on the most vulnerable in society and on all workers by the Con-Dem government and the need for them to be stopped by the trade union movement leading powerful general strike action involving the public and private sectors.

Hard hitting speeches along these lines were made in favour of the motion by Steve Gillan from the POA, Bob Crow from the RMT (who seconded it), John McInally from the PCS and a number of others.

A Ucatt representative had a big effect when he urged delegates not to make 'the mistakes of the past' in failing to lead action, and he reminded everyone that when the trade union leaders threatened a general strike in 1972 after the jailing of the Pentonville Five dockers, those workers were released.

NSSN lobby of the TUC, Brighton, Sept 2012, photo by Pete Mason

NSSN lobby of the TUC, Brighton, Sept 2012, photo by Pete Mason   (Click to enlarge)

Opposition speakers from Prospect, the ATL, Balpa, NASUWT and Usdaw tried to convince delegates to vote against the motion by claiming that most trade union members don't want a general strike, by arguing that it's impossible to achieve and that the call for one would be a propaganda weapon for the government.

In replying to the debate however, Steve Gillan, referring to those who argued that the government would use the call for a general strike as 'a big stick to beat us', answered forcefully: 'The government is already using a big stick against us, and it is hurting'.

The passing of this motion is a great step forward in the battle that has been waged to push the leaders of the TUC towards mobilising the weight of the trade movement against the government's cuts agenda.

Support delivered for the resolution from the large unions Unite and Unison to add to that of unions such as the RMT and PCS, reflects the mood of rank and file trade union members in favour of decisive action to stand up to the government.

The Socialist Party and the National Stop Stewards Network welcome the passing of the POA motion; both have been at the forefront of spearheading and mobilising support for the calling of a 24-hour general strike.

In particular, the inspiring and well attended march and lobby of the TUC organised by the NSSN on Sunday played an important part in building momentum for this victory.

Now we need to demand that the TUC general council urgently discusses the naming of a day for the strike.

We also need to help make sure that the 20 October TUC demonstrations in London, Belfast and Glasgow against the government's agenda are huge, and use those events as an opportunity to further develop support for a 24-hour general strike and for concrete preparations for it by the trade union leaders.


See also report of NSSN lobby:

NSSN lobby demands a 24-hour general strike


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 11 September 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Strike:

triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleWorkplace news in brief

General strike:

triangleSupporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleSolidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

triangleStrike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

Government:

triangleCampaign against political repression in Hong Kong

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

Union:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

19/10/17

Refugees

Hundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

18/10/17

Brexit

Tories torn - bin them now

18/10/17

What we saw

What we saw

18/10/17

Food

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

18/10/17

NHS

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

18/10/17

Debt

Young people being strangled by debts

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2