The Socialist

The Socialist 7 September 2011

Strike together to defend pensions

The Socialist issue 684

Strike together to defend pensions

Mobilise the power of the working class


Mass workers' movement - the only way to make the super-rich pay


Tory bribes to promote socially divisive 'Free Schools' agenda

NHS reaches a tipping point

Reject health bill attacks on abortion

The riots, Clarke and the "broken penal system"

Fast news

New pamphlet - The Rise and Fall of the Scottish Socialist Party

Miliband to bury Labour


Consequences of 9/11: a world turned upside down


Bristol marches against home care sell-off

EDL kept out of Tower Hamlets by thousands protesting

Stop the Dale Farm evictions

Confronting a Labour cutter


Scotland - Unison calls for pensions strike

Picket lines at police stations

Workplace News in brief


Youth March For Jobs

One in a million...fighting back!

NEET figures still rising

Local Housing Allowance

36,000 for a degree


Them and Us by Will Hutton


Libya after Gaddafi - Independent workers' action needed

Indian high commission protest over Tamil death sentences

 
 

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Strike together to defend pensions

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor, Coventry
Newcastle: 30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions , photo Elaine Brunskill

Newcastle: 30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions , photo Elaine Brunskill   (Click to enlarge)

If there is one phrase that should hang around this government like a concrete necklace, it is Tory chancellor George Osborne's "We're all in this together".

Figures published by the TUC just before its 2011 Congress show that top UK bosses saw a 70% rise in their pension pots in less than a decade. What a difference to the vast majority of ordinary families, where the average rise over the same period was 30%.

But the gap becomes more obscene when actual numbers are talked about. The Independent says the five biggest pension pots of top company directors are now worth more than 84 million.

Four of those five business leaders, the bosses of Shell, Barclays, BG Group and AstraZeneca, could all retire on pensions of over 1 million a year! Compare that with those on a state pension. Currently a single person gets 102.15 a week.

According to the TUC, the average pension in local government is around 4,000 a year, and just 2,000 for women. In the civil service, the average is 6,500. The average pension for a female NHS worker is 5,000 but even that statistic is misleading. In fact, half of all women pensioners who have worked in the NHS get a yearly pension of less than 3,500!

Tory/Lib Dem proposals mean public servants would lose tens of thousands of pounds over their careers in increased contributions, reduced pay-outs, and penalties for retiring when they had originally expected to.

The bankers, whose gambling and speculation triggered the economic crisis, still get their bonuses. But ordinary people have to pay more, work longer and get smaller pensions.

In the private sector, the position for those on low or average earnings is even worse. Only one in five private sector employees earning between 100 and 200 a week are in an employer-sponsored pension scheme, compared to 70% in the same pay range in the public sector.

The real gold-plated pensions again go to the bosses. The High Pay Commission says directors of the top hundred firms in the private sector receive average pensions of 175,000 - up to 29 times the rest of the workforce. Twenty years ago the average chief executive of a top FTSE 100 company earned 17 times the average employee's pay. Today (and after 13 years of Labour government) it is more than 75 times!

Workers ARE all in this together - we need to strike together!


TUC must step up the action!

Join the National Shop Stewards Network rally, march and lobby

The TUC should use its authority to call on all union leaders to coordinate a date in November when three to four million public sector workers, this time including members of unions such as Unite, Unison and GMB, strike together. This should be the next step in the movement that can stop this bosses' government from slashing our living standards, jobs and pensions.

As PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka said recently: "In June the joint strike action by PCS, teachers' unions, and some local branches of Unison and Unite, put the fight against the cuts at the centre of the nation's consciousness.

"A bigger walkout - coordinated by the TUC and involving even more unions - would boost the confidence of everybody fighting cuts in workplaces and communities across the UK. I urge PCS members and other trades unionists to join the 11 September lobby of the TUC."

  • Rally Sunday 11 September, 1.30-3.30pm Friends Meeting House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
  • March to the TUC (after the rally) - the trade union leaders will be meeting in Congress House, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3LS.
  • Lobby the TUC to demand that they build on the success of the 26 March demo and the 30 June strike and organise coordinated strike action throughout the public sector.

In this issue


Action to defeat the cuts!

Strike together to defend pensions

Mobilise the power of the working class


The Socialist editorial

Mass workers' movement - the only way to make the super-rich pay


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tory bribes to promote socially divisive 'Free Schools' agenda

NHS reaches a tipping point

Reject health bill attacks on abortion

The riots, Clarke and the "broken penal system"

Fast news

New pamphlet - The Rise and Fall of the Scottish Socialist Party

Miliband to bury Labour


Socialist Party feature

Consequences of 9/11: a world turned upside down


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bristol marches against home care sell-off

EDL kept out of Tower Hamlets by thousands protesting

Stop the Dale Farm evictions

Confronting a Labour cutter


Socialist Party workplace news

Scotland - Unison calls for pensions strike

Picket lines at police stations

Workplace News in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

Youth March For Jobs

One in a million...fighting back!

NEET figures still rising

Local Housing Allowance

36,000 for a degree


Socialist Party review

Them and Us by Will Hutton


International socialist news and analysis

Libya after Gaddafi - Independent workers' action needed

Indian high commission protest over Tamil death sentences


 

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