Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/765/16680
PCS conference 20-23 May
Campaigning works: Action gets results
John McInally, National vice-president Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), personal capacity
The re-election of the Democracy Alliance national executive committee is a real blow to the government's attempt to break PCS members' resolve.
The re-election of a fighting left leadership is a mandate to continue with the strategy of industrial action of varying duration and timing which is causing disruption and real concern among management. It is also an endorsement of the union's campaign against austerity.
The alternative promoted by PCS is now widely supported and is gaining further endorsement throughout the trade union movement and beyond.
Austerity isn't working, except of course for the tiny ruling elite who are enriching themselves at the expense of the vast majority in society.
The millionaire Coalition cabinet hate PCS, mainly because we have exposed the great lie that there is no alternative to austerity.
Rather than setting out a clear alternative, Labour is campaigning with an austerity-lite programme. This could mean another inconclusive general election result.
Some are already calling for a coalition with the Liberals, who are now universally despised for their collaboration with austerity.
If the TUC implemented its policy of coordinated joint industrial action against the attacks on pay and pensions we could get rid of this government.
Some union leaders, the worst being the leadership of Unison, are operating a de facto no-strike agreement with Labour leader Miliband in order, they imagine, not to upset Labour's chances of winning the election.
Right-wing union leaders are prepared to see vicious attacks on their members and workers generally, including the full-scale privatisation of the NHS, rather than organise to build action to get rid of this hated government.
Last year, Unison leader Prentis promised a 'Unison spring' when he would break the pay freeze. It's nearing the end of spring and he is nowhere to be seen.
The TUC are organising to bring together those unions prepared to coordinate their disputes. PCS, as always, will be at the forefront of any such initiative.
The PCS strategy is based on building the widest possible alliance in society, in the trade union movement and in our communities to combat the government's austerity policies, including the hated bedroom tax.
The key though is to build joint coordinated strike action across the public and private sectors.
A strike by the teachers in the North West in June may well be followed by more action. PCS will do all it can to coordinate with such initiatives.
Industrial action by PCS in the various departmental groups over the past year has resulted in some significant gains, on issues from staffing increases to protecting workplace nurseries. The lesson is simple - Campaigning works: Action gets results.
In The Socialist 15 May 2013:
Fight the bedroom tax
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