Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/754/16239
Marching against cuts in Coventry
Coventry Socialist Party
Around 150 people marched in Coventry city centre on 23 February in protest at £61 million of cuts threatened by councillors.
These cuts would have enormous impact on our city - around 800 council jobs are expected to go, on top of 800 already gone. Services will be decimated.
The march was organised by the three main council workers' unions- Unite, Unison, and GMB. Other unions showed their support including CWU, UCU, NUT and Coventry TUC and so did Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
There will be a lobby of the 26 February council meeting that will vote on the cuts. Unions will be discussing how to respond to them.
Socialist Party members distributed their latest bulletin for council workers, in it we pointed out: "There is a danger that if the cuts go through (which they are likely to do) each section and department across the council could end up fighting on its own.
"We would be stronger if we responded... with the beginning of a council wide consultative ballot for industrial action.
Our unions also need to be organising a national campaign, including nationally coordinated industrial action and a general strike. [We must] draw a line in the sand. No more job losses. No more cuts."
From the platform, Dan Crowter pledged the support of the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign for any industrial action that the unions take.
Workers from every sector should unite with all those under attack from the Tories, including students and the unemployed.
Heather Wakefield, Unison's head of local government, made good points about the bankers and their crisis, but put forward no strategy for a national campaign of industrial action.
Her speech was heckled by a PCS union member about the sell-out of the pensions campaign after the successful action of 30 November 2011.
It was a big set back for the anti-austerity movement. We need to reclaim and rebuild our unions.
Not one Labour MP or councillor showed their face to pledge support to the campaign or speak out against the devastating impact on our city.
This sharply poses the question of building a political alternative to the three mainstream parties of austerity.
In The Socialist 27 February 2013:
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