Recent construction walkouts have raised many arguments about who is to blame for the jobs crisis and how the left should respond to strikes that wrongly target “foreign workers”.
The arguments at the heart of this action are particularly acute – but every industrial dispute involves political questions.
We have seen this, for example, with the public sector pay disputes over the past two years and more recently over the question of manufacturing jobs.
Political arguments are raging throughout the movement over whether people can fight back in a recession and the question of the unions’ relationship to the Labour Party.
This is why the left has to be organised both in and outside the unions – to offer a lead and to win a political argument about the way forward.
This task is even more important in the face of strikes that threaten to target “foreign workers”. We have to fight for that anger to be directed at the bosses, the government and the system responsible for the jobs crisis.