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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2019

Harrowing accounts of austerity at Unison women's conference

Glasgow Unison members on strike for equal pay, photo Public Services International/CC

Glasgow Unison members on strike for equal pay, photo Public Services International/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Angie Waller, Unison women's conference delegate (personal capacity)

Delegates at the women's conference of public sector union Unison gave harrowing accounts of living their lives in debt, and how they have been reduced to choosing between eating and heating while trying to put food on the table for their families.

Most of the motions on the agenda, heard by 800 trade unionists attending, covered how women are not coping with the effects of austerity. A motion on women and debt outlined that of the 8.8 million people struggling with debt, 64% were women.

The meeting of broad left Unison Action was well attended. At the meeting, Socialist Party and Unison national executive committee member Vicky Perrin, in a personal capacity, spoke about the consultative strike ballot of school staff and the Birmingham home care and Glasgow equal pay strikers. In Glasgow, the workers have proved that where you fight collectively, you can win!

Socialist Party member Mia Hollsing said councils like Birmingham - which are cutting the hours of the home carers - have a choice not to make cuts. They should set no-cuts budgets. But if they carry out the cuts, we should be prepared to fight them.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 20 February 2019:


News

Nationalise Airbus and other manufacturing plants to save jobs now!

NHS crisis deepens: Workers' and community action can save our health service

What we heard

What we saw


Youth climate strikes

"There's no planet B": Thousands of youth strike against climate change - we need socialist change!

Youth strike for the climate reports: "There's no planet B"


Opinion

TV: Les Misérables - Hugo's novel and this adaptation both offer a message of hope

The Socialist Inbox


What we think

Eight Blairites split - Now kick out the rest


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity must unite on pay and elections

Universal Credit staff ballot for action

Annoyed?! I'm annoyed to be on poverty wages

Nationalise to save jobs at Honda!

Birmingham bin strike against 'blacklisting'

Deliveroo riders strike against exploitative pay and conditions

Leicester college pay strike goes on

Cardiff Uni: urgent action needed to stop job cuts

Hackney: Unite fights racism and victimisation

Harrowing accounts of austerity at Unison women's conference

Unite GLL pay campaign


International socialist news and analysis

Spanish state: social polarisation and budget defeat force snap election


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Unite union London council workers back Enfield Labour no-cuts call

Leeds TUC presents a no-cuts alternative budget

Socialist Students conference shows potential for fighting leadership

London housing campaigners disrupt auction

Birmingham Uni: Standing up to racism is not harassment!

Leicester Socialists stand against Blairite mayor

Lincoln students back UCU ballot

Leicestershire needs NHS beds

Claimants and union slam Universal Credit

Energy retail firm collapse hits Tyneside


World economy

New recession fear stalks the world economy


 

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Related links:

Unison:

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

triangleElectricians pay victory

triangleBig Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

triangleLambeth Unison letter

triangleMake a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

Women:

triangleShocking increase in domestic violence killings

triangleLockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean

triangleCoronavirus and domestic violence: a double threat to women's lives

triangleChildcare - costly, inadequate and hard work

Austerity:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleCouncils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

Debt:

triangleLebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division

triangleNHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Cuts:

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

Public sector:

trianglePCS elections: Support socialist candidates

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