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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 March 2020

Stoke council unions beat pay cuts - now let's stop all cuts

Protesting agains the cuts in Stoke

Protesting agains the cuts in Stoke   (Click to enlarge)

Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party

Protests and the threat of strike action by council worker unions - GMB, Unite and Unison - have forced Stoke-on-Trent city council to scrap their plans to cut some workers' wages by up to 5,000 a year.

This is an important victory, and shows that workers can win if they get organised. Stoke Socialist Party and the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) were part of the campaign.

This victory must be used as a launch-pad for building organised opposition to all cuts. There are still 8.3 million cuts to other services.

The Tory/Independent council used council reserves to finance backing down - the second time that the coalition council has used reserves. It demonstrates in action that it can be done.

Councils can also legally borrow money to help to prevent cuts. Using these options can stop cuts and buy time to build citywide opposition to all cuts.

There are three years before the next Stoke-on-Trent city council elections in 2023. Under the control of the Tory/Independents this will mean three more years of cuts to council workers jobs, pay and conditions and our services.

Labour councillors should use this victory to announce that they will not support or carry out any council cuts.

They should immediately organise a citywide meeting of Labour and trade union members, local anti-cuts campaigns, the Socialist Party and all others who want to help build a force that can stop all council cuts.

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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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 11 March 2020:


Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Full NHS funding now

Coronavirus infects the world economy

Flybe collapse: nationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn

Coronavirus: international cooperation needed, not capitalist competition

Supermarkets are ruled by profit - unions should control supply limits

For full pay during isolation: for public health as well as workers' wallets

Self-isolation patients speak: NHS facilities and advice not up to it

Italy on lockdown: lack of resources and democracy causes panic

South Korea shows capitalism has money to respond to coronavirus

Coronavirus news in brief


News

Domestic Violence bill: We still need to fight to save our services

News in brief


Workplace news

Postal workers mobilise to win strike reballot

Homerton Hospital workers fight for sick pay

Fighting to transform the union in my warehouse

Argos workers in Sainsbury's stores threatened with losing collective bargaining

Homeless charity workers to strike against intransigent management

Southampton trade unionists say "defend the right to strike!"

Strong support for PCS Broad Left Network

East London uni and bin worker strikes


US election

How can Trump be ousted from the White House?


Campaigns and party news

Salford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

Stoke council unions beat pay cuts - now let's stop all cuts

Is there an anti-cuts rebellion in Scotland?

Socialist Party joins International Women's Day protests

Housing workers explain reality to idiot Boris Johnson

Swansea: Ask anyone about state of services, you will hear the real story

Camarthenshire: Councillors' 'walk of shame'

Student occupation in support of striking workers

Selling the Socialist

Socialist Party executive committee positions


International news

Greece-Turkey border refugee crisis


Women's and trans rights

Women's rights, trans rights and the labour movement


Readers' opinion

Film: Greed directed by Michael Winterbottom

Childcare - costly, inadequate and hard work

Book: Why you should be a trade unionist by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey

The Socialist Inbox


 

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