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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 September 2019

End austerity in the civil service: General election now

PCS members marching against cuts, photo Senan

PCS members marching against cuts, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in PCS

Prior to the conference of the Trade Union Congress, a motion was put by Socialist Party members and others to the national executive committee (NEC) of the PCS civil servants' union.

This called for a national demonstration against austerity, for an immediate general election, for the end of the anti-union laws and for the renationalisation of Royal Mail and the railways. The motion was defeated by those on the NEC who mistakenly want opposition to a no-deal Brexit to be at the forefront of the union's campaigns.

Whether it's Brexit accomplished by a Tory government, or Remain, accomplished by a Tory government or some coalition of Tories, Liberals and right-wing Labour MPs, each represent a threat to civil service workers and to the communities that we serve.

On the one hand, there may be decisions to move staff between departments and away from the work they were recruited to do or to transfer staff offices.

There may be specific attacks on EU nationals who work for the civil service and related bodies. Staffing has been slashed to pieces and yet the civil servants covering the Border Force or Customs will be expected to handle the mammoth task of an emergency exit from the single market.

On the other hand, there will be a continuing bleeding of the civil service and our privatised brothers and sisters in companies such as ISS, Aramark, Interserve, G4S. The devastating closures programme which has seen hundreds of Jobcentres and tax offices close, and lost tens of thousands of jobs will continue (including in specialisms that supported the vulnerable to claim benefits or which investigated tax avoidance by the super-rich), as will pay cuts.

For our union the key task should not be falsely posing Remain as an answer to the real fear of further Tory attacks. It should be mobilising our members to defend ourselves from attacks - especially if there are threats by the nationalistic cabal around Johnson to remove members of our union from their jobs or from the country based on their nationality.

We should be mobilising to demand a general election to decisively end austerity, by pushing a Corbyn-led government into power and holding it to promises about trade union rights, pay and national bargaining in the civil service, which include substantial improvements for union members on private sector contracts.

Corbyn and McDonnell should be sent to Brussels to negotiate an exit from the EU which could be an international platform from which to defend workers' rights and to attack reactionary policies, such as the posted workers directive and the rules against nationalisation and state subsidies that protect jobs.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 11 September 2019:


International socialist news and analysis

Far right makes gains in Germany

South Africa: Xenophobic violence - a product of failed capitalist policies

West Papuans demand self-determination in London


What we think

Tories in tatters: Corbyn must seize the time


Opinion

Capitalist 'democracy' v socialist democracy


Workplace news

TUC: Lost opportunity to organise a united struggle

NSSN lobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out Tories

Fighting PCS general secretary needed - Marion Lloyd: Why I am standing

End austerity in the civil service: General election now

PCS strike at BEIS: "The life we live is not liveable"

Unions must fight to make bus drivers and passengers safe

Asda workers protest against worse contract

UCU ballots - yes to strike action on pensions, pay, workloads and equality

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Students and workers unite against fees, low pay climate change

Tory meltdown - Organise to finish them off

Another London block of flats destroyed by fire - remove unsafe cladding now!

Leeds pensioners occupy BBC to save free TV licenses

Frimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

Leicester Kashmir protest rejects religious smokescreen

Salisbury welcomes Socialist campaigners

Socialist newspaper sales round-up

Coventry: 100 pack meeting against congestion charge

Climate strikes: trade union round-up


Scotland

Scotland and Brexit: Developing threat to the capitalist union


 

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Related links:

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EU:

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