A PCS press release:
TUC 2013 – Mass joint strikes needed to defeat austerity
Mass coordinated strike action is needed to stop the government’s cuts to living standards and jobs and to defeat austerity, the Public and Commercial Services union said at the TUC congress today (9th September).
Speaking in the main debate on the economy this afternoon, the union’s national president Janice Godrich outlined some of the realities behind the government’s claims of economic recovery, including:
- 13 million living in poverty, up by a million since the coalition came to power
- 1.8 million families on housing waiting lists
- half a million people now reliant on food banks
- one million workers languishing on zero hour contracts
- 2.5 million unemployed and 6.8 million more looking for more work
“It’s recovery for the rich and austerity for the poor”, Janice said. “And they told us this would cut the deficit, but instead it increased in July – and George Osborne is borrowing nearly £250 billion more than he said he would.
“That quarter of a trillion pounds is enough to give every UK worker £8,000. That’s the extra we’re paying due to Osborne’s incompetence – because his austerity programme has failed, as we said it would.”
Adding that “people cannot afford to wait for a change of government in 2015” she explained that this government continues to refuse to negotiate on the key issues of cuts to pay, pensions and jobs.
“Our response as a movement has to recognise this is a government that sees itself as being at war with the public sector and trade unions.
“We need action, and my union believes we will need mass coordinated strike action to bring this government to the negotiating table and to defeat austerity.”