Socialist Worker

Workers hold the key at this critical time for pensions dispute

Issue No. 2289

Public sector workers can stop the government from attacking their pensions. Some 2.6 million workers struck together on 30 November. The powerful strike brought many public services to a standstill.

Since then some union leaders have dragged their feet. Some don’t believe that they can stop the Tories’ assault. Others are nervous about striking if fewer unions are involved.

But a strike doesn’t need to have millions taking part in order to be effective. If teachers strike and shut down schools, for example, it has a huge impact.

And because the mood is there to take on the Tories, a strike by some workers could easily grow into something far bigger. It could spark solidarity action if workers in other unions refuse to cross picket lines. At the very least it would give confidence to other workers to put pressure on their union leaders to call strikes too.

The Tories and their friends in the right wing media like to pretend that workers are powerless. Yet they respond with panic and bluster every time they are faced with a strike.

Newspapers run shocked reports on the disruption the strike is set to cause. Ministers accuse unions of “holding the country to ransom”. They complain that strikes are hurting “the economy”. They mean they hurt the bosses and their profits.

The Tories know that workers have the power to stop their attacks. We have to pile the pressure on union leaders to call more action—fast.

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