Friday, 3 August 2012
Days lost to strike action up, times are a changing
I’ve noticed it as I’m involved in following workers disputes and supporting workers in struggles but for others out there it may not be obvious but there has been an upsurge in industrial action in the last few years. This doesntsurprise me at all but it may surprise some who are not aware of what’s going on out there. Ever since the global financial crash in 2008 and governments across the world bailed out the banks to the tune of billions possibly entering the trillions globally ever since the debts have been transferred to sovereign debt and we the working and middle class’s are being made to pay for a crisis we did not create. Understandably many workers are not taking this lying down and strikes mainly in the public sector as that has been where the attacks are concentrated most have shot up but now we are seeing a rise in private sector disputes as private sector companies see a chance to drive down wages in the private sector even further still. Official figures show that nearly 1.4million working days were lost to strikes in the first eleven months of 2011, a four-fold increase on 2010’s tally. Nine out of 10 days lost to strikes last year were because of unrest in the public sector. Official figures show that the number of working days lost to strikes in the first eleven months of 2011 was 1,373,200, up from 365,000 in 2010. The days lost to strikes are now at their highest since 1990 when 1.9million working days were lost to strikes. Most of the strike days – 93 per cent - were lost in the public sector unsurprisingly. In this year 2012 not a day goes by without a new dispute opening up and a ballot being held in that area of work be that on pay, victimisation of a union rep which has shot up I might add, conditions, pensions, privatisation and much much more in between. This post may seem a bit like stating the obvious but sometimes that obvious point is not even made the likes of the BBC and Sky are reluctant to publish such reports due to the affect it could have on the wider society its no coincidence bourgeois media sources have been reluctant and have been successful in blacking out any news of industrial unrest in Spain with the recent Northern Spannish Miners strikes and battles with police. If this sort of news story got across Europe the ruling class know all too well it’d light a spark in workers minds who are struggling by themselves. Europe is a tinder box with a tiny spark is all that is needed to set the whole thing up in flames. With Spannish bond yields creeping over 7% regularly now it is only a matter of time before Spain requires another bailout a possible full scale bailout this time. With Spain being the 4th biggest economy in Europe this could be huge if Spain defaults on its debts which is entirely possible still going into the autumn and the later part of 2012. This is not bearing in mind the ever likely exit of the Euro by Greece which is becoming more and more likely and inevitable as time creeps by. But the main point of this post is that if the ruling class think they can impose endless austerity on big nations like Spain and Italy which I see being crucial in this coming rough period they have another thing coming. Industrial disputes which are up anyway will shoot up from now on with workers welland truly taking to the stage. The European Working class has been stirred it will now react in the only way it knows and that is in class struggle. Fighting to defend all the gains it has made including various welfare states, wage increases, pensions and a better life under capitlism in the better years which for many was still not great is all under threat now and everything is up for grabs. Many workers know if they don’t fight now they stand no chance of defending their gains the only chance they have of stopping the onslaught is to fight and fight they will. I have faith in workers across the globe. Where workers enter struggle we support them as they are our class and the global workers movement supports and stands in solidarity with you as you will support us when we move into struggle. Workers of the world unite. A better socialist world is possible !