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We must turn one strike into many

Spreading strikes across every sector could lead to a win for workers that, now more than ever, need a decent pay rise
Issue 2810
struggle strikes Francis O'Grady

Frances O’Grady admitted resistance is coming from the bottom up (pic: TUC)

The rail strikes have shown there’s a chance to unite workers against the bosses and the Tories. This week showed a spontaneous sense of solidarity among many activists—and a wish to hit back as well. It could transform the class struggle. One big strike shakes the Tories. Several together could rout the government and win real pay rises. 

But it will take a fight to make it happen. Many union leaders are dragging their feet. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady admitted that the energy is coming from below, not the top.  “I’ve been asked a number of times where we are going to be coordinating action, and I wouldn’t rule that out” she said.  “But the point is that workers are coordinating themselves, not out of any deliberate strategy.”

Everywhere working class people are under intense pressure.   Only struggle can stop the rampant spread of hardship and poverty. Millions of public sector workers are now facing pay cuts. The government is telling NHS, school, local government, civil service and other workers that they will get a “rise” that’s far less than inflation.

The union leaders can’t run away from the need to mobilise resistance. It would be best for everyone to fight together. But the chance for “unity” can’t be used to postpone or avoid any group from fighting themselves. Back the rail strikes—and spread the action

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