Socialist Worker

These strikes can prove our strength

Issue No. 2278

 (Pic: http://www.timonline.infoTim Sanders )

(Pic: Tim Sanders)

The planned strikes on 30 November are our chance to tell the Tories what they can do with their austerity plans. Millions of workers across Britain are getting organised for the biggest strike here for decades.

The eurozone crisis shows that bosses everywhere are determined to drive through attacks on workers’ living standards—whatever it takes.

They want to save the banks and their system, even if it means taking down some governments.

The Tories’ attacks on public sector pensions are part of the same process unfolding across Europe. If they get away with this attack they will keep coming back for more. This is a critical week for the fightback.

Tory minister Francis Maude tried to undermine the unions when he said last week they could strike for 15 minutes. He was mocked. “That’s not a strike, it’s a tea break!” was a popular refrain.

But TUC general secretary Brendan Barber’s response was significant. He said, “If Francis Maude had genuinely wanted this idea to be taken seriously I would have expected him to have raised it directly with the TUC and unions.”

Barber should be shouting from the rooftops that trade unionists are right to strike and that 30 November will be followed by even greater strikes.

Instead we have the words of someone who sounds desperate to make a deal.

There is too much at stake to allow Barber or anyone else to derail this struggle. The mood for action is stronger than ever.

Every activist on the ground needs to be going all out to build on the momentum. This is the way to resist any pressure to settle for a compromise or divide our side.

The only way we can beat the Tories’ plans is by sticking together. Separating the different union fights would allow the government and employers to play different unions off against each other.

There is only one way to make the government back down—escalate the united national action. Our slogan has to be: “All out, stay out.”

Pulling more workers into the struggle is the best way of making it impossible for the Tories to drive through their attacks.

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