By Tony Barnsley
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Confidence for a general strike?

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Issue 409

Julie Sherry’s article on the state of industrial struggle in Britain today (December SR) was generally excellent. But it is really important to accurately assess the mood among workers.

Looking at the important local disputes during 2015 it is with some pride that in most, if not all, SWP comrades have been central to leading these disputes to victory. Our contribution to the class struggle changes the balance of confidence on our side to fight.

For example, during the last local government dispute on pay most branches with SWP comrades in local Unison leadership positions secured votes among union members to continue with action.

However, across the rest of the union most local leaderships merely reflected the lack of confidence rather than campaign to overcome it.

The point is that the general mood among our class is not one of wanting to fight but being held back. Workers are being won to fighting where local union leaderships build the confidence to fight and offer a strategy to win.

So while Julie may be sure of a positive response from below to a TUC call for a general strike against the Trade Union Bill, the evidence suggests it would need to be built with some considerable effort.

The first challenge would be whether the whole of the trade union movement’s leadership can inspire workers, like our comrades do, to fight and defeat the anti Trade Union Bill.

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