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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2005

Defend pensions: All out on 23 March

OVER one million workers could be on strike next month. New Labour have decided to cut their pension rights because they are 'living too long'.

Bill Mullins

Tens of thousands of refuse workers, street cleaners and many other blue collar council workers will join town hall white collar staff, benefit office workers and other civil servants across Britain to oppose this latest threat to the living standards of the working class.

They could also be joined by firefighters and college lectures if they are balloted in the next few weeks.

This could be the first of a number of strikes in the public sector that could take place if Blair does not withdraw the attack on pensions.

Hundreds of thousands of teachers in schools across England and Wales are also being asked in a consultative ballot if they want to take action after the Easter holidays.

New Labour, after eight years in power, have got used to getting their own way.

Like school-yard bullies they have picked on the most vulnerable and weakest members of society - such as those on incapacity benefit (see page three).

Blair wants to run the general election by fuelling prejudice against what the right-wing press call 'cheating asylum seekers' and 'scrounging illegal immigrants' (see page five).

But "bully boy Blair" is about to meet his match - the organised workers in trade unions.

He faces the wrath of millions of public sector workers saying "enough is enough."

An election victory for Blair will not be a mandate to attack the public sector. Instead it could open up a new period for politics and society - with the power of the united working class, through their unions, putting their stamp on events in Britain.

They are the only ones standing in the way of the capitalist offensive against public services and the welfare state, including the pensions of public sector workers.

We say:


The Great Pensions Robbery

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In The Socialist 12 February 2005:

Defend pensions: All out on 23 March

Time to make a stand on pensions

NUT leadership wriggle over pension action

Incapacity benefit: New Labour hits the poor and vulnerable

Bolsover protesters win round one of toxic waste battle

Crisis time in Welsh hospitals

Immigration policy: Labour apes the Tories - again

Longbridge workers still fighting to defend jobs

Left victory in firefighters' union

UNISON general secretary election: Prentis attacks the opposition

Financing the fightback

May Day Greetings

Iraq - mobilise to withdraw the troops

Huge crowd cheers Chavez's radical speech at World Social Forum 2005

Socialism can 'make poverty history'

Northern Ireland decommissioning crisis: The failure of sectarian politics

Slovakia: Multinational victimises trade unionists

Scottish Socialist Party: Clear socialist alternative needed


 

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