Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/259/24697
Enough Is Enough: Time to fight back!
WE COULD be heading for a "summer of discontent". Public sector workers in particular have had their fill of privatisation, cuts and attacks on working conditions. Many are saying "enough is enough".
After five years of New Labour's big business policies and attacks on public services it is time to fight back.
Staff at the British Museum went on one-day strike over job cuts, closing the museum for the first time in 250 years. (See page 2) UNISON local government workers in London also took two days of action over the London allowance.
Nancy Taaffe, a striker in Waltham Forest told The Socialist: "Some members, particularly low paid workers who can't afford rent in London, are really desperate for this action to succeed. We need £4,000 a year London Weighting."
1.3 million council workers are also being balloted for a one-day strike on 17 July. These low paid workers have been offered a measly 3% rise. Low pay is a big issue. Workers in further education, higher education, firefighters and air traffic controllers have all either taken action or could be taking action over pay.
Meanwhile, London Under-ground workers in RMT are balloting over safety and privatisation and are expected to vote overwhelmingly for strike action.
But we have to make sure that the union leaders give a fighting lead to workers who want to take action. As Nancy explains: "The amount of participation depended a lot on activists. My office came out a lot stronger than in May. Next time the union has got to go on the offensive to get people involved."
Socialist Party members will be campaigning alongside other trade union activists to put pressure on the union leadership to take the struggle forward, to organise to ensure that action is successful and that we have fully funded public services that benefit both workers and users.
In The Socialist 21 June 2002: