Friday, 19 July 2013

Let’s strike together

There are a growing number of reasons for workers to take strike action in the UK. Be it in the Royal Mail with the serious threat of privatisation or teachers facing performance related pay or even council staff facing cuts to jobs and pay and let’s not forget the 1% public sector pay freeze too. There are many reasons why a 24 hour general strike could be right for many. It is time to start to rebuild the coalition of the willing much like in November of 2011 where we had nearly 3 millin workers taking strike action we need to co ordinate ballots again and build for a national day of action in the autumn I feel. 'Cut, cut, cut' go the Con-Dems as they attack pay, welfare, jobs, services and pensions. No wonder the mood for action against the government's austerity agenda is growing. Teachers in the NUT and NASUWT unions have called a rolling programme of strikes, culminating in a national strike in the autumn. Lecturers in the UCU are consulting about strike action over pay. CWU members are preparing to fight the privatisation of Royal Mail. PCS civil service union members are discussing further action to defend pay, jobs and working conditions. FBU members are balloting over pensions. Unison members in Scottish local authorities are balloting on pay. All workers have a reason to strike - let's do it together. Come to the lobby of the TUC to demand a 24-hour general strike. The Con-Dem government has announced a stock market floatation of the majority of Royal Mail within nine months, with the rest to follow at a later date. This is the biggest potential privatisation since the dark days of Thatcher. It threatens a national service which has been in public ownership for 479 years. It puts the universal service under threat, almost certainly means higher postage rates, and is a major threat to postal workers' jobs and working conditions. In its recent consultative ballot CWU members voted by 96% in opposition to privatisation on a 74% turnout. The union must now capture this mood. The CWU has announced that it will have no choice but to proceed with an industrial action ballot if it can't get a watertight agreement on protection of its existing national agreements. This is a fight which will decide what type of postal service we will have. One to serve the needs of the people or one to serve the needs of greedy investors only looking for a profit. Time for united action now! The CWU should call for all the unions under attack to build united action. There is no time to waste. A 24-hour general strike would be a serious blow to all the government's cuts and privatisation plans. Gary Clark, assistant branch secretary, Scotland No.2 branch CWU Teachers will build on the success of recent strike action in the North West, with 90% of schools closed or partly closed. Further action has been called by the NUT and NASUWT. In the week commencing 30 September there will be strikes in the Eastern, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside regions and in some of Wales. In the week commencing 14 October there will be strikes in the North East, London, South East, South West regions and in the rest of Wales. And there will be a one-day national strike before the end of the autumn term. "NUT and NASUWT members have every reason to build the strongest possible action to defend our pay, conditions and education. However, we are not the only unions looking to oppose attacks on our livelihoods and our services. Instead of striking separately, wouldn't it be better for unions to strike together and have the biggest possible impact?" Martin Powell-Davies, member of the NUT executive Lobby the TUC conference - For a 24-hour general strike! Bournemouth, 8 September 2013 12.30-3pm, Hardy Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Road (opposite Bournemouth International Centre) National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) rally followed by a lobby of Congress. Speakers include: RMT general secretary Bob Crow, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka and POA general secretary Steve Gillan. Transport details email For more information and a model resolution on the lobby see:

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