Millions to strike on Nov 30th against cuts in the north & Britain


Millions of public sector workers will be taking to the picket lines across the UK including tens of thousands in the North on the 30th November against the latest Government austerity measures that seek tol force workers to work for longer for less.  All the mainstream unions from NIPSA, Unison to GMB have successfully balloted their members, from teachers & council workers to bus drivers for the co-ordinated industrial action against the proposed new pension scheme. The scheme which will see people who day in, day out, care for our young, our frail, our elderly, our homes, streets and parks; the people who, after decades of service, be lucky to have £5,600 per year to live on when they retire.

At the same time the UK’s highest earners get tax breaks worth £10 billion every year on their pensions contributions. This tax giveaway, to the top 1% of earners on more than £150,000 a year, is worth more than three times what the government is trying to raise by taxing public sector workers’ pensions. This is even worse when you consider that top bosses in the UK have average pensions worth 34 times more than the average worker.

The reality of class inequality and the increasing gap between the rich and rest of us was recently documented in the year long inquiry by the High Pay Commission.  It highlighted that the pay of top executives has soared by more than 4,000% in the past 30 years. The study also detailed the pay of former Barclays chief executive John Varley who the study said, made 4,365,636. This was a staggering 169 times more than the average worker in Britain today and an increase of 4,899.4% since 1980 when the top pay of a Barclays CEO was just 13 times the UK average.

In a period in which the rest of us are having to pay for the greed and legalised robbery of the 1% these figures put a nail in the coffin of the idea that ‘we are all in this together’ and ‘we all have to share the pain’ which we constantly hear from politicians and media.

Solidarity is Strength

This national strike is a reflection of the widespread anger and opposition to massive government cuts to our education and healthcare, from youth clubs to the closure of the A&E ward at Belfast City hospital. All this comes in the shadow of the recent riots and militant student demonstrations galvanised by the occupy movement while our local sectarian politicians are unleashing four billion worth of cuts to essential services, 

November 30th builds on the momentum from the education and healthcare strike last month. It shows that we are serious and mean business but a one day strike action to let off a bit of steam is not enough if we want to defeat ongoing attacks on our pay and conditions. Attacks which are affecting all workers and unemployed. A victory for public sector workers on the pensions builds for a victory for all workers on the variety of attacks we face.

Solidarity and support for strike action needs to built across all workplaces unionised or not and in our communities where we are feeling the impact of these devastating cuts on our standard of living if we want to win. In the short-term we need to push for rolling strike action including go-slows and the ultimately a general strike. History teaches us that those at the top will not concede anything without mass resistance.

We need to build a mass militant campaign which is opposed to all cuts and attacks on services, a campaign controlled by  rank and file workers. Lobbying politicians and marching from A-B has limited returns and can even add to the pervading sense of powerlessness. Our trade union leadership cannot be trusted.  Taking back control of OUR unions is part and parcel of the fight to protect what we have won over the years.

In the end capitalism is the problem and we are the solution. As we unite we can become a force that capitalism cannot control, cannot crush. We can create a whole new society that serves the needs of all of us, not a minority.

The WSM will be taking to the streets on the day and
reporting from the picket lines using our twitter account.