Striking workers are under attack. The Tories, the bosses, the Labour government and most of the media have ganged up to condemn anyone who dares to fight back.
For these politicians and newspapers the only good trade unionists are those who surrender their pay and jobs to keep up profits.
They say strikers are “wreckers”. But the real wreckers are those who want to slash workers’ rights and to push through cuts.
Chancellor Alistair Darling says the cuts will be “tougher and deeper” than those carried out by Margaret Thatcher.
Workers are right to resist—and there should be more fights, not fewer.
Linda, a striking cabin crew worker at BA, told Socialist Worker, “Willie Walsh wants to smash our union. But I think we can win. After three days on the picket line I felt euphoric!”
Network Rail bosses want to slash 1,500 maintenance jobs—making working conditions harder for those who remain and
making the network less safe.
Workers are set to strike for four days next week against the plans.
“The only place to go is to the picket line,” said Steve Richards, branch secretary of Newport RMT union.
“It’s not just us who are in dispute. We recognise other people’s struggles, like those by PCS union members and BA cabin crew, as our own. Members are up for the fight.”
Labour is imposing education cuts—with Tory backing—that will stop thousands of working class children going to college or university. But here too, people are resisting.
“The government wants universities to be like corporations,” said Stathis Kouvelakis, a lecturer striking against cuts at King’s College London this week.
“They see education as a service that people can buy—if you have the money.
“Either we fight back—or we will face disaster.”
That spirit of resistance needs to spread further. In many cases that will involve organising not just against the bosses but also against union leaders who are ready to make concession after concession rather than support strikes.
We should back every striking worker. And we should fight to bring the struggles together in a united challenge that can smash the bosses’ and government’s assaults.