Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/192/8093
Workers Show Their Strength
Get Organised: Strike Back!
THIS WEEK tube workers brought London to a standstill and showed the power of organised labour. The courts, the press and London Underground management could not stop the first political strike against New Labour's 'privatise everything' ideology.
Lord Justice Gibbs granted an injunction to the bosses but a 90% 'yes' vote for strike action by a determined and well-organised workforce could not be overruled and the tube network was brought to a standstill.
Other workers are showing similar determination to defend their jobs and living standards. Council workers in North-West England in Knowsley and Bolton (see page 11) and Wigan are taking strike action to defend their 35-hour week agreement.
Hackney council workers in east London have already had a one-day and a three-day strike to defend jobs and services. In all these disputes large mass trade union meetings have voted overwhelmingly for strike ballots.
Along with other more localised industrial disputes, air traffic controllers, members of the IPMS union, are balloting against privatisation and Vauxhall workers are balloting for industrial action to defend their jobs.
Many workers in the public and private sectors now see they have to get organised and fight for their jobs and living standards. The union leaders are being forced to react to this pressure by organising mass meetings, demonstrations and ballots, increasingly resulting in strike action.
Many workers know what a downturn in the world economy will bring, further attacks from the bosses. And they are certainly not waiting for the general election to express their misgivings.
None of the main political parties offer anything to the working class. They all put the interests of big business first. And the first reaction of the bosses in any recession is to try and make the working class pay for the failings of their capitalist system.
The Socialist Party will be providing a socialist alternative to the ideology of the profit system at the election but workers will also attempt to transform their trade unions into fighting bodies capable of taking on the bosses.
Join the Socialist Party today to fight for jobs, services and a socialist future.
In The Socialist 9 February 2001: