Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 November 2004


For A One-Day Public-Sector Strike

Prospect and PCS members on StrikeON 5 November, 300,000 civil servants, members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), are striking in defence of their jobs and working conditions.

This will be the first time for many years that so many civil servants have come together to act as one fighting organisation.

The New Labour government, like the Tories before them, have made it abundantly clear that privatisation is what they are about in the public sector. The civil servants are in the front line of the fight to save what is left of the public sector. Therefore, their fight is the cause of the whole working class.

The PCS, led for the first time for many years by a fighting democratic leadership, is intent on defence of its members' interests. New Labour ministers and the top civil service managers know that they have to defeat the PCS before they can go on to attack the rest of the public sector.

When Gordon Brown announced that 104,000 civil servants would lose their jobs he hoped, unbelievably, that this would be a vote winner. It is - amongst the fat cats of big business and the rest of the parasites who live off the backs of the working class!

Fight back

But New Labour did not take into account the willingness of hundreds of thousands of, in the main, low-paid workers to fight back. The strike of 5 November is a massive warning shot across the bows of New Labour - that they will not get away with attacking civil servants with impunity.

The only thing that this government recognises is action, and the strike delivers this in the best possible way. But all those participating also know that, by itself, the strike will not be enough to make the government do a U-turn or even to make sufficient changes to their plans over the negotiating table.

After 5 November the question will increasingly be posed as to how the dispute can be widened to other public sector workers and the trade union movement as a whole.

The PCS under its present leadership, including members of the Socialist Party, have played a tremendous role. That is because they have the confidence that workers are willing to struggle if they think that they will not be let down by their leaders. For too long union leaders have bent the knee to the bosses.

Verbal support

At the TUC in September, the other union leaders were falling over themselves to give verbal support to the PCS. Now the union can rightly demand that verbal support be turned into action.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the biggest public sector union UNISON, has raised the possibility of industrial action over the threats to worsen the pension rights of his members in local government. The teachers' leaders have hinted at the same.

The PCS will be contacting other public sector unions through the TUC or, if they drag their feet for too long, directly. They will ask for a conference of trade union executives to discuss common action over pensions, job losses and other issues that are common across the public sector.

That conference should agree a programme of joint action in defence of the public sector. This should include naming the date for a national day of action, including industrial action, against the government's attacks on the public sector. The Socialist Party believes that there will be massive support amongst millions of ordinary workers for a programme of action along these lines.

Civil service workers have demonstrated in action that they are willing to fight if given a lead. Now it is the time for all public sector workers to be united in action.

The 5 November strike can be an historic turning point in the struggle to reverse the pro-market, pro-capitalist policies of this rotten government.

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

In The Socialist 6 November 2004:

PCS Striking To Save Jobs And Services

For A One-Day Public-Sector Strike

"Why I Am On Strike"

Understaffed, Stressed And Under Threat

They Can't Bury Our Voices

Socialist Party news and analysis

Hoe Street ward by-election

Unite Against Homophobia

Is there an alternative to global warming?

International socialist news and analysis

Big events will shake Bush win

End This Bloody Occupation

Arafat And The Palestinian Struggle

Fourth general strike in ten months in Nigeria

Volkswagen: Workers Stage Warning Strikes

Ministers Paper Over Growing EU Crises

Musharraf's Hypocrisy Won't End Violence Against Women


Home   |   The Socialist 6 November 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

trianglePCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

trianglePCS union says no to pay misery

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita


triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleNewham anti-academies strikes

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation


trianglePreparing for the showdown

Public sector:

triangleAfter the budget - unions must launch pay fight

triangleBosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!


triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

Civil Service:

trianglePCS pay cap ballot closes soon

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy



Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts



Two in five 'right to buy' homes now for let



Save our NHS


Them & Us

Them & Us



Uni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!



Retail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs



Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded



Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme



Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers



Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system



RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks



Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests



End Tory war on poor



Nationalise rail now

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

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

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

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



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice