After 30th june when 750,000 trade unionists and working people downed tools and took strike action which was at the time some of the biggest we've seen for years if not decades many wondered if this was it. Well no the trade union movement never to be out done is looking ahead now to the autumn and more action if the government does not back down on public sector pension reforms. This is seemingly increasingly likely it would seem. The government consisting of many millionaires in the cabinet have no idea how ordinary public sector workers live and how their pittiful pension pots will help or hinder them in later life.
So this autumn i am hoping we get as many unions out as we possibly can. Not just the ones that are more militanta nd are not affiliated to labour. We need them all out. All those linked to the public sector, to show this government that the public sector will not just roll over and have its belly tickled.
The news in the last week is that the PCS, teh public sector communications union one of the most forthcoming in recent times and with many socialist party activists working hard inside it have been at the fore in calling fora one day general strike for the public sector to strike fear into this weak weak tory government.
But now we hear on top of 30th June which was big and successful in itself the likes of the Prospect union, FDA and now the NASUWT union are pledging to join the PCS, NUT, ATL in joint co-ordinated industrial action come the autumn.
WE still hope Unite, Unison and GMB , FBu and the RMT the other big unions join with the others in bringing Britain to a stand still in the public sector for one day in the autumn.
Many sceptics say oh well what will this achieve ?
But although it is a while ago now 30th June achieved much it had the government defeated on its pathetic arguements that public sector pensions were affordable and were actually going to fall in cost over the years according to their own Lord Hutton of Labour who they commissioned to do the report on public sector pensions. Although much has happened since June 30th the government on that day were well and truely beaten with many more workers than the government had predicted coming out on strike action in defence of their pensions and winning the day. We in the socialist party recognise 24 hour strikes are not enough to bring this government down but as Le the great Leon Trotsky pointed out in his transitional program the working class must be taken with us at all times.
So as Trotskyists we area lways looking to gauge the current contiousness of workers at a given time. We feel that contiousness is still very low and we are practically starting from scratch with many workers. This is ok but we will need to work vey hard and get our ideas out there into the movement very quickly and effectively indeed. A 24 hour public sector general strike will be a huge jump forward especially for some unions who havent taken mass scale industrial action for some time if at all will be a big leap forward in contiousness we feel.
The actions of June 30th will give those unions who have took action then much confidence to step up action and boost confidence amongst members to maybe bring out more next time. When workers returned to work after June 30th many would have talked about June 30th as a big success and why do yuo not join us next time out there on the picket lines ? many will feel they can now having seen their peers doing so and leading the way. If no picket was arranged they will have wittnessed others in more contious areas have them and contiousness will spread and grow from last time. We are getting there with the leap forward June 30th had just think how big this next step could be.
We could really have the government on the back foot if millions come out in the autumn.
It will be interesting how Ed "the scab" Miliband handles this future strikes if his own affiliated unions do decide to come out and support other unions in solidarity where will he stand. Will he stand with his own unions who elected him as labour leader or stick to his " prosperous capitalist" mentality of condemning strikes before neogotiations have finnished and we shoudl all get back around the table.
Something tells me he may act differently when his own unions are acting and taking action as those were the ones who helped elect him. Failiure to back these unions will be suicide for Mr Miliband i feel. Hopefully this is the end of him and the start of a take back of labour by the workers. Hopefully i say in jest as i dont see this myself i feel he will continue his path in denial of workers and his move that the labour party can run capitalism better and fairer than the tories. We will see Ed's desctruction of the Labour party deepen if he does not back future strikes by affiliated trade unions. More calls will be made to ask what does he stand for and why doesnt he stand for us many workers will ask.
And uwe will say in the socialist party he is toeing the capitailist big business power hungry careerist line the new labour party have taken now ever since Tony Blair.
The only way forward now for working people is to form our own new workers party based on the traditions of fighting trade unions and socialism with fairness and revolutionary feelings at its base. To eventually over throw this rotten capitalist system which does far more harm than good for many workers which cannot be allowed to continue.
The next wave of strikes must start putting forward demands from the working class as a whole. That although this strike is about pensions we are here by demanding a end to all austerity and all cuts. That a change of course is needed or else. We will not just stop at pensions the ruling class is coming for all we have gained over decades of working class struggles.
WE must act now or never. This is a fight we must win. If we dont fight we will not be forgiven by future generations who will have to live with our actions or inacctions.
So i invite you all to come to this sundays lobby of the TUC called by the NSSN the national shops stewards network . THe evening before the TUC congress conference next week this sunday 11 september at 1.30 pm all meet at friends meeting house in Euston where Bob Crow and Mark serwotka general secteries of RMT and PCS respectively will be speaking before we march on the TUC conference to present a petition for the TUC to back calls for a 24 hour public sector general strike and start the preparations for this in the autumn.
We cannot wait and stand by and wait for a labour government jobs, pay and conditions are disappearing under our feet we must act now before its too late.