The Socialist 8 August 2012
Our health, not their wealth!
March together on 20 October and then strike together to stop all cuts
With over 350,000 public sector workers already sacked and over one million young people on the dole, it's terrifying to think that the vast majority of the cuts are still to come - unless we fight them!
These cuts aren't necessary. £120 billion of tax goes unpaid every year largely by big business and the rich. £750 billion is sitting in big business bank accounts as the fat cats see no profitable investment - it seems they're waiting to be handed guaranteed income from the privatisation of services such as the NHS.
The Trades Union Congress is organising a national demonstration in London on 20 October. The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is committed to making this demo even bigger than when 750,000 people demonstrated on 26 March 2011. But 20 October can't be the end of the campaign, but a new beginning. The NSSN is lobbying the TUC's autumn conference to demand that this march is followed by a 24-hour general strike.
Steve Hedley, who was elected as the RMT transport union's assistant general secretary at the end of July, explains why he is joining the NSSN lobby.
"I'm lobbying as we want to ensure that there's action from the TUC. We believe that a general strike, starting with the coordination of a 24-hour general strike, is the only way that we're going to stop the cuts coming through.
Apparently there's only been about 30% of the cuts made so far so we're still facing a massive onslaught.
It's good that the TUC has organised a demonstration in October, but this alone is not going to stop the government. We can only do that by coordinated industrial action. It's very important that the delegates at the TUC feel strong enough and feel supported to demand that of their leaders.
There are people in the trade union leadership who would see the 20 October march as a bit of a relief valve to get rid of all the pressure building up from workers who want action against cuts, let people walk up and down and then they've done their bit, but that's not the case.
The demonstration needs to be an organising demonstration. We then need to have a series of local meetings after that demonstration and our unions, both nationally and locally, should set up strike committees and decide how we're going to take this on because at the minute we're not taking it on.
The RMT is a small union but we're a very active union and we punch above our weight, so we hope to be intricately involved."
Lobby the TUC to call a 24-hour general strike
Sunday 9 September Brighton
Assemble 1pm, The Level Park, Union Road, Brighton BN2
Speakers include Bob Crow, RMT, Steve Gillan, POA and Mark Serwotka, PCS
For updates and transport information see www.shopstewards.net
In this issue
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis