With 85% of the cuts still to come, it is imperative we organize now to prevent anymore attacks on our pay, pensions, NHS, benefits and our general living standards.
This is why I’m backing the National Shops Stewards Network’s calls now for a 24 hour public and private sector general strike. Uniting public and private sector workers is the only way we can defeat austerity and bring this government to its knees and start to build the future for the 99% not just the 1% which is currently the case.
Back on the 16th of June the NSSN met for its 6th annual conference and endorsed the motion to start building now towards a 24 hour public and private sector general strike.
You could say last November on the 30th of November we had a almost public sector general strike but now is the time to start linking up sectors bringing back in the sparks, the Honda workers, the ratcliffe power station workers the Coryton workers and many many more I can’t fit in this piece where private sector workers are starting to fight back. No doubt encouraged by their comrades in the public sector on pensions.
This government is a weak government and can still be defeated. There are no absolutes in the class struggle and to say this con-dem government will last the full 5 years is something even fortune tellers could not predict. There are lots of cracks opening up and lots of areas where division can occur in their ranks.
For our part we must unite and put an end to the government’s claim that the public sector is greedy and the private sector isn’t fighting back. Let’s be honest all workers are under attack in some form or another. Uniting them together in combined targeted co-ordinate action could really show the true power of the working class.
We saw that the potential power workers have when a threat of a strike by tanker lorry drivers caused a fuel shortage just imagined if they actually had gone on strike.
We welcome the TUC’s move to call a mass national demonstration on October 20th this year and will do all we can to build for that too but that can’t just be another march 26th 2011 we need to see this as a start of a concerted fight back uniting all of the struggles.
We estimate there is currently 400,000 workers in live disputes at the current time with surer to be drawn in to struggle. With the idea of a mass sick in which has been tried in America in the past can create the effect a general strike can have. This is no small task and the NSSN is well aware of this and we do not take calls like this lightly we will not for example as others on the left have done called for a all out stay out tactic. That is far in advance of the current state of play and peoples thinking right now. We look to build our demands slowly and carefully popularizing our ideas among workers and testing our slogans. Having the correct ideas at the right time can have a huge impact.
This is what we found last year with our calls when lobbying the TUC in September of last year for a one day public sector general strike. Which a matter of weeks later did actually happen.
But let’s be under no illusion the TUC and the heads of the labour movement will not want this and will do all they can to prevent this. So our task is doubly as hard when we are fighting with one or two hands tied behind our backs effectively.
"We advocate that the next step should be for the TUC to organize a one-day general strike, which includes both public and private sectors" (for the full
NSSN GUIDE TO ACTION
Since last year's conference NSSN has been involved in an increasing number of workers' struggles, and, as the austerity cuts bite, we expect these struggles to intensify.
• We encourage supporters to concentrate on organizing local and regional NSSN Networks with events and meetings to help rank and file activists to build up reliable support networks.
• We welcome the TUC national demonstration on October 20th and we will do everything we can to make this day a successful start to the next phase of an action-based campaign against austerity.
• We advocate that the next step should be for the TUC to organize a one-day general strike, which includes both public and private sectors, against all cuts to pensions and wages, jobs, services, and housing; to stop privatizations of NHS, education and public services; and to stop the slavery of workfare.
• To this end we call on trade unionists, campaigners, youth and pensioners to come to Brighton for TUC week
• to lobby delegates to press for a national strike
• to hold an NSSN fringe meeting to highlight this demand
We call on all NSSN supporters to redouble their efforts over the coming months to build support for this strike around the country, at the same time this will build the NSSN and increase the effectiveness of rank and file trade unionism throughout the country.