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Labour offers to end strikes in Wales

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Strikes suspended in Wales as union leaders bend to the Labour government's poor offer
Issue 2842
Ambulance workers picket line in Swansea

Ambulance workers in the Unite union on strike in Swansea

Strikes keep getting called off in Wales—and it’s not because they’re winning. The teachers’ strikes are the latest casualty. The NEU union postponed a planned day of action after a pay offer from the Welsh Labour government.

That comes little more than a week after NHS unions the RCN and GMB suspended nurses’ and ambulance strikes in the Welsh health service.

Both of the offers are very similar—and neither of them are any good. They’re just a meagre 3 percent extra this year, only half of which stays on in workers’ pay packets.

But the Labour Party is very proud of this—and uses it as a stick to beat the Tory government in Westminster.

What a difference a Labour government makes, it says. While workers in England are striking under a Tory government, Labour in Wales is keeping things calm.

The union leaders of the trade unions are only too happy to play their part. They flaunt their willingness to stop fighting because of a government that lets them sit around and talk.

That message doesn’t promise much to workers. But it does promise something to the bosses who wish the strikes would go away. 

It tells them that Labour, with its unique connection to the union leaders, might be a better choice for them.

For all this, we still can’t rely on Labour to support our strikes. But we can count on it to scupper them.

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