Friday, 30 November 2012
Today is the anniversary of N30…TUC name the date for a 24 hour general strike!
Yes…today, it will be 12 months ago to the day when over 2 million public sector workers went on strike to defend their pensions. It may have been just a year ago but how many have forgotten about that day? The biggest single day of strike action this country has seen for possibly 85 years, since the general strike of 1926. But we believe that when you close your eyes and remember how great a day that was or look at the photos you took or the videos on YouTube, you’ll realise that it really did happen and it IS possible for workers to take action in their millions. Because that’s what happened on N30 2011. It wasn’t just a strike, it was a mobilisation of working people. The streets were full in London, Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff but also Taunton, Brighton, Newcastle and almost every town and city throughout the country. We’ve no doubt that it was the sights and sounds of workers and their unions on the march again that has led to the countless disputes this year, including victories like the Sparks, London buses and the Sova recycling workers in Sheffield. N30 should have been the beginning of a programme of co-ordinated action that could have defeated this government. But some of the union leaders settled and killed the momentum, despite the best efforts of those like PCS, POA, RMT, Unite, ISU, NIPSA and UCU who tried to salvage the dispute this May. But N30 showed that our demand that the TUC co-ordinate a 24-hour general strike against the billions of pounds of cuts we’ve had and the 80% to come isn’t a pipedream but necessary and possible. If a strike of the proportions of N30 was organised with the time for unions to prepare properly and co-ordinate ballots and live disputes, how many other workplaces would see it as the chance to raise their grievances against their employer – to strike together in maximum strength? N30 2012 will be like most days are this year – a day of strikes and protests. PCS members in the Department of Transport will be on strike and all other PCS branches will holding protests and to build for their national strike ballot in the New Year on pay and to fight attacks on terms and conditions and union facility time. Low-paid cleaners in RMT will be on the 2nd day of a 48 hour strike for a decent wage. We’ll be supporting these workers but imagine what we could achieve, if we went on strike together? The NSSN has called a lobby of the TUC General Council on Tuesday December 11th – now from 8.30am. It’s outside TUC HQ in Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. We took up to a 1000 union activists to Brighton to lobby the TUC conference in September to successfully build support for the POA motion calling for the unions to “consider the practicalities of a general strike”. Come to the lobby on December 11th and let the union leaders know how “practical” and absolutely vital it is!