Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/732/15164
March together - strike together
Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) chair
"Why did 80,000 people boo Osborne? Because that's the maximum capacity of the Olympic stadium!" Tweets like this and the booing itself at the Paralympics reflect the colossal and rising anger against Chancellor George Osborne and the entire cuts coalition.
But working class people have the potential to not just heckle but remove this government of the super-rich.
The TUC holds its 2012 congress at a crucial time. So divided is the Con-Dem coalition that at times it seems a strong gust of wind could blow them over as they argue over a third runway at Heathrow or House of Lords reform.
Yet this is the government that has implemented billions of pounds worth of cuts, sacked 400,000 public sector workers, trebled tuition fees and much, much more. If they stagger on in office for the full term, the remaining 80% of the austerity measures they threaten could follow, further decimating working class people's lives.
But they can be stopped! On 30 November last year (N30) over two million public sector workers took strike action to defend their pensions. If this had been escalated, a total victory could have been won, probably terminally damaging Cameron's coalition.
Since then, groups of workers in the private sector - the construction electricians, the bus drivers for example - have also shown a huge determination to fight back.
Scandalously, though, union leaders such as Unison's Dave Prentis broke up that N30 strike alliance. They signed up to the outline of an agreement that still means most workers will pay more and work longer to get a lower pension.
N30, however, gave us a glimpse of the trade union movement's power. This truth must come out in the debates at the TUC congress. The NSSN welcomes the demonstration that the TUC is calling against austerity on 20 October. We will do all we can to get a million on the streets of London, Glasgow and Belfast.
But we don't think that this alone will be enough to stop this government of the rich. We have organised a lobby of the TUC to call on the unions to follow up this march with a 24-hour general strike of the public and the private sector.
We call on TUC delegates to support the motion from the PCS union calling for further coordinated strike action and from the POA union for the TUC to consider joint action up to and including a general strike.
This is the fight of our lives - let's get organised to win!
Lobby the TUC for a 24-hour general strike
Sunday 9 September
Assemble 1pm at The Level park, Union Road, Brighton BN2 for march at 1.30pm to Brighton (conference) Centre for rally
www.shopstewards.net 07952 283 558
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary
In The Socialist 5 September 2012:
Fight the cuts
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Countering the far-right
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news