Socialist Worker

'Blair wants to dump us on the scrapheap'

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka calls on union movement to stand up to government attacks

Issue No. 1919

MORE PRIVATISATION and further attacks on working people are what lie in store from a third term Labour government.

That became clear this week despite Tony Blair’s desperate attempt to mollify trade union leaders at the TUC conference in Brighton.

Mark Serwotka, leader of the PCS civil service union, spelt out those attacks to Socialist Worker:

“Tony Blair told the TUC conference that he wants to ‘demonstrate that our and my priority is and always will be the lives, living standards and quality of life of Britain’s hard working families’.

“But 104,000 working people and their families have been told they are to be thrown on the scrap heap—not by some union-busting US multinational but by this government.

“The prime minister is the boss of the civil service workers whose jobs Gordon Brown is slashing.

“Blair went on, ‘Good jobs don’t come with bad work practices. Successful employers don’t succeed by abusing their employees. Quality public services don’t achieve excellence by undervaluing public servants.’

“But that is exactly how this government has treated its own workforce, and it won’t even talk to the unions about it.

“And it does not stop with the assault on civil service workers. New Labour is intent on attacking benefits for the ill and disabled, slashing the right to sick pay and continuing its ‘reform’ of the public sector.

“A truly radical third term would see all privatisation ended and reversed. It would bring an end to the anti-union laws.

“It would mean a redistribution of wealth from those who have gained over the last seven years to working people.

“That’s not on offer from New Labour—which is why there is such disillusionment, it’s why people are crying out for an alternative, and it’s why the unions should resist New Labour’s agenda.”

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Sat 18 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1919
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