Socialist Worker

Meeting debates how to win

Issue No. 2252

More than 200 trade unionists attended a Socialist Workers Party (SWP) meeting in London last Sunday to discuss the importance of the planned strikes.

They came from many different unions and from all across Britain.

Martin Smith, an SWP industrial organiser, opened the meeting.

He said the TUC protest against the cuts on 26 March was a turning point.

It showed that the organised working class is taking centre stage in the battle—and strikes on 30 June are the next step.

Everyone agreed that it must be made into a “day of rage” against the government, involving all those who want to fight.

That means activists must mobilise to get big yes votes in the ballots.

Trade unionists in London have organised a Unite the Resistance meeting for Wednesday 22 June, at which PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, Tony Benn and others will speak.

People are planning similar events elsewhere.

More than 40 trade unionists—from the NUT, PCS, UCU, Unite, Prospect, NUJ, CWU, EIS and Unison—spoke in the discussion.

Some stressed that it was not guaranteed that workers would vote for strikes.

This puts a responsibility on militants in the unions to campaign hard and talk to all members about the importance of the fight.

Propaganda

Later in the discussion speakers emphasised that the strikes were not just about pensions, they are to defend the welfare state.

Many contributors said that media propaganda against public sector workers should be challenged and that private sector workers must be part of the day.

Workers not on strike should show support and solidarity for those who are, by taking a card to a picket line

for instance.

There was also discussion about the role of rank and file organisation and the tension that exists between activists and union leaders.

The day ended with workshops to help build the power of the 30 June strikes.


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