Socialist Worker

10 May: Strike against pension attacks

by Julie Sherry
Issue No. 2301

Health workers in the Unite union struck on 30 November last year  (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Health workers in the Unite union struck on 30 November last year (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Hundreds of thousands of workers will strike across Britain to defend their pensions on Thursday of next week.

Activists are going all out to make the strike as powerful as possible.

Lynne is a Unite union member at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in central London.

She told Socialist Worker, “We’re leafleting every day and going round in lunch breaks speaking to people about the strike.

“Many campaigns and organisations are joining us—there’s a real buzz building around our picket line.”

On the day London strikers and supporters will march from the hospital and past parliament to a rally in Westminster Central Hall.

Activists report a strong mood for the strike.

Niaz is a PCS union member in Defra Southern branch. He said “We’re ready to strike now. The bigger issue is how we escalate—we’ll have to do that to win.”

PCS members are passing motions calling on the union to name further national strike dates. They also want to link the fight over pensions to the struggle against other attacks.

The leadership of the UCU lecturers’ union voted overwhelmingly to join the 10 May strike last week.

Dave Gibson, a UCU member at Barnsley College, says lecturers there are meeting with other unions to prepare for the strike.

“We’ve made contact with Unite members at Barnsley Hospital which is a real breakthrough,” he said.

“We’re twinning workplaces to support weaker areas and collecting money for strikers.”

Workers are organising a march and rally in Barnsley on the day.

Around 1,300 RMT union members will also join the strike.

But other unions are moving away from action.

This week the Unison union announced that it would not call further strikes in the health service.

This is despite health workers in the union voting by more than 50 percent to reject the government’s pensions attacks.

The strikes on 10 May can reignite the dispute over pensions.

They can also keep the pressure on other public sector unions to rejoin the action—and beat the Tories.

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