Royal Mail strike. Photo: Dave Reid
Royal Mail strike. Photo: Dave Reid

“I don’t know what we’re going to do. We can’t go on like this”. Everybody is saying it. 

With the energy price cap average set to rise to £3,549 this autumn, and even higher in January, and talk of inflation hitting 18% in the new year, working-class and many middle-class people face the next few months with dread. 

Not so the bosses of the energy companies who are doing just fine, as are the bosses of the water companies, the rail companies, the supermarkets – the list goes on. Unite the Union’s research showed profits up 73%! 

No wonder the summer strike wave is spreading – and no wonder the strikes are widely supported. We all need a real pay rise, and the unions are showing how a fight can be fought.

The national strikes of CWU members in Royal Mail, BT and the Post Office are a significant step up in the national strike wave, following the continuing rail strikes. 

After that, the massive strike at Felixstowe port, the action of bus drivers, bin workers and many more around the country. And workers in the NHS, schools, councils and the civil service are getting ready for autumn ballots. Largely unorganised workers at Amazon joined the strike wave, learning the need to get organised and fight back. 

The Tory leadership contenders tear lumps out of each other but agree on one thing: that it shouldn’t be the super-rich and big business who pay for this crisis – it should be us. 

But the pressure on them in this cost-of living crisis is so great, they’re so divided and weak, that they can be forced into concessions and U-turns at any point. 

And more than that, they can be forced from government. If the union leaders coordinate and generalise the strike action, the killer blow can be landed. 

Picket lines are full of discussion about what needs to be done – strikers talk about the need to all strike together. They say: “We need a general strike!”

That’s why the Socialist Party supports the rally and lobby of the TUC congress in Brighton on 11 September called by the National Shop Stewards Network. It’s more important now than ever to demand of the TUC leaders that they step up to the plate and take a lead.

The 19 October lobby of parliament, that the TUC has already called, should be a step towards coordinating national action that demands the following:

  • Inflation-proofed pay rises for all
  • Nationalise the energy companies. Seize their profits and cut our bills
  • Bring rail, mail, buses, water and BT into public ownership under the democratic control of workers and service users
  • Increase benefits and pensions in line with price rises
  • A minimum wage of £15 an hour now
  • Kick out the Tories. Build a new mass workers’ party that fights for us, not the bosses and the super-rich

Strike together and coordinate the action! Join the National Shop Steward Network rally and lobby of the TUC congress – Sunday 11 September, 1pm, Holiday Inn Hotel, Brighton