Socialist Worker

Don't waste the anger

Issue No. 2327

The Tories are pushing their Public Service Pensions Bill through parliament this week.

This assault will see public sector workers pay up to 50 percent more in contributions, work until at least 68 and get lower pensions at the end of it.

A magnificent strike of 2.6 million workers on 30 November last year showed the anger among those set to lose from this attack.

But the leaders of the Unite, Unison and GMB unions squandered that mood by signing up to a bad deal within days of the strike.

The government could have been beaten back. If the unions had stayed united and called more and bigger strikes, the Tories would not have been able to drive the attack through.

The confidence gained through winning over pensions could have put the Tories’ whole austerity package into question.

The government is not confident. The coalition is fragile. The more the Tories act like toffs who don’t know how ordinary people live, the deeper the bitterness against them grows.

Some union leaders, such as those in the PCS and NUT, are rightly still opposing the pensions deal. But there are no dates set for further strikes.

The potential for more battles over Tory attacks is there. We need to fight on every issue—and demand union leaders take up the fight across the working class.

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What We Think
Tue 30 Oct 2012, 18:12 GMT
Issue No. 2327
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