By Judith Orr
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2269

Autumn action will be the biggest since the General Strike of 1926

This article is over 10 years, 4 months old
Up to 3 million set to join the battle against the Tories and everyone can be a part of this fight–here’s what you can do
Issue 2269

For the first time in decades, we have the possibility of a united strike across the working class.

The sheer scale of the strike will have a huge political impact on British society.

It will put workers and their collective organisation at the heart of the resistance to the Tories’ attacks on pensions and living standards.

The challenge for every activist is turning the national calls for mass action into a fight in every workplace.

These will be the largest strike ballots ever organised in Britain. We have to win them.


Many workers may not feel confident to strike about local attacks. But taking part in a millions-strong national strike, with picket lines all over every town and city—that is a different story.

Just this week, teachers in the Welsh education union UCAC joined the battle by voting by 89 percent for strikes.

At a Socialist Workers Party industrial meeting last Saturday, members were put on a war footing.

“The stakes are high,” said John Newsinger, a socialist in the UCU lecturers’ union. “We face ruling class militants who want to smash our side.”

Activists from every major trade union took part. They discussed in detail how they could go back and build the fight in their workplaces, whether in a hospital, school or office.

“No working class household will be untouched by this struggle,” said one ambulance worker. “This is the fight of our lives.”

What you can do now

In unions that have already won ballots…

•Go all out to build a solid strike. Without the pressure of campaigning to win a ballot, there is a danger that the momentum of campaigning can slip.

•Activists can call union meetings in every section to organise mass involvement in the campaign.

•Write newsletters and factsheets about the impact of the pensions attacks.

•Involve other union members in workplace leafleting.

•Invite speakers from other unions on strike. Unite the fightback.

In unions that are set to ballot…

•Throw everything into winning the ballot. The bigger the vote, the greater the confidence of the strikers—and the harder it becomes for union leaders to backtrack.

•Winning a yes vote will mean involving every union member. We cannot just rely on those on who have been politically active in the past.

•Every notice board and canteen needs to be flooded with leaflets and materials.

•Every section needs to meet with speakers from their own union and others set to strike.

•Get out into the local area and spread your reasons for striking. Join with other unions to hire a battle bus and tour workplaces.

In unions not yet balloting…

•Put pressure on your union leaders to call a ballot. Flood them with motions from branches demanding to join the fightback.

•Whether you are in the public or private sector, you can fight to be on strike alongside millions of other workers.

•For example, members of the RMT rail workers’ union could argue for a strike over proposed rail “reforms” and coordinate it with the mass action.

•If you are in the CWU you could fight to be balloted over issues in the post in time to join in the November strike.

•Every local or sectional dispute can be brought in to play. On the 30 June, council workers in Birmingham, Doncaster and Southampton joined the national day of strikes.


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