Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/813/18685
"Enough is Enough!"
1.5m workers could strike over pay
On 10 July, 1.5 million public sector workers could be on strike against a derisory pay offer. The Unite, Unison, GMB, NUT and PCS unions could all be walking out together. Two workers explain why they're voting yes:
Daily routine: get up, a whirlwind rush to get everything done before eight o'clock, rush to get the kids to school and then myself to work. Clock in, clock out, then home to enjoy spending time with the kids and getting tea on the go for when the other half gets home? I wish! Once I finish work it's off to my second job to bridge the gap between living on the breadline and affording to feed the family and keep a roof over our heads.
When I watch the news I feel that the government lives in an alternate reality to the majority of us. They're too busy cutting jobs and services to care that they are breaking the backs of the people who are propping up the economy.
Then they call us selfish when we make a stand by taking strike action! The politicians are the selfish ones - grabbing expenses for themselves, cutting jobs, privatising public services and demonising teachers and public sector workers for standing up for themselves and saying no to more work for less pay.
I am voting to take industrial action not because I can afford it, because I cannot, but because our voices need to be heard. I urge others to join in the fight because this is a battle we can win.
Workers in the public sector have suffered years of pay freezes - our income has decreased by more than 16% in real terms since 2010. Household budgets are stretched to breaking point and some are sinking into poverty.
The claim that the economy is in recovery seems ridiculous to public sector workers. There's bubbling anger. Strike action over pay is now seen as the only option left to us.
I've worked in local government for over 30 years and have seen many good colleagues leave my workplace as a result of the cuts. I've never known morale so low and people so fearful for the future.
As an active trade unionist I believe it's vital that we vote for industrial action and follow it up with a series of solid strikes. Enough is enough!
- NHS: We demand a living wage! Unison members protest over 1% pay rise after a three year pay freeze
In The Socialist 4 June 2014:
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