Socialist Worker

The mood is growing for a united fight

Issue No. 1936

Health workers protesting at Newcastle General Hospital on Friday

Health workers protesting at Newcastle General Hospital on Friday

THOUSANDS MORE public sector workers could be balloting for strikes against the great pensions robbery.

The Unison union announced on Tuesday of this week that its 800,000 members in local government had backed calls for industrial action over pensions.

Some branches reported votes that were nine to one in favour of action. On Friday of this week, Unison was set to announce whether it would ballot for a one day strike—possibly for 23 March. If this is called, it is likely that other unions will follow.

The other major local government union, the GMB, has announced that it intends to ballot its members in February for possible strike action in March. A recent meeting of the national executive of the PCS civil service workers union mandated its general secretary, Mark Serwotka, to approach Unison with a view to united strike action.

This could halt both national and local government.

Richard, a PCS member in London, told Socialist Worker, “We need a national day of strike action, especially to make the young members aware of how this affects them.”

Amicus, which has around 80,000 members in the NHS, is holding a public sector “summit” of its local union officials on 7 February to discuss the potential for strike action.

The London region of the firefighters’ union, the FBU, is consulting with its members about the possibility of joint strike action with Unison.

Mick Shaw, who is the FBU executive member for London, told Socialist Worker, “We know that we need to fight these attacks alongside others. If Unison are having a go, we’ll have a go with them.'

'United action is the best chance we have of defeating Blair and Brown,” says Barry Conway, branch secretary of Bolton branch of the NUT teachers’ union. “A massive turnout on 18 February will be an important step in making sure we tell our union leaders that we want strike action across as many of those workplaces as possible.”

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