This is taken from the National Shop Stewards Network site – it is vitally important that this is spread as widely as possible in a short time, so please feel free to circulate to anyone you feel may be supportive. After the magnificent strikes and demonstrations up and down the country on November 30th, we cannot back down and let the government off the hook. They have given almost nothing away in terms of concessions, yet some leaders of trade unions and the tops of the TUC – notably Brendan Barber and Dave Prentis, are waving the white flag already.
The TUC’s Public Sector Liaison Group (PSLG) has met for the first time since the magnificent 30 November public sector strike.
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, argued that trade unions should sign up to the government’s latest agreement on pensions, which would then allow Francis Maude to announce before Christmas that the dispute has been settled.
This was met with outrage by many of the public sector trade unions present. Not one of the central demands of public sector workers has been met. All public sector workers are still being told to work longer, pay more and get less. The teaching unions NUT and NASUWT reported that they had been offered no serious concessions by the government, as did the civil servants’ union PCS, the Fire Brigades Union and representatives of workers in the NHS. In local government, the only concession is to delay the attacks on pensions until 2014, provided that local government unions promise to accept the pain without a fight when it comes.
Yet Dave Prentis – general secretary for Unison – the biggest union in health and local government – argued for accepting this rotten deal. Hundreds of thousands of Unison members who struck on 30 November will not agree.
30 November showed the potential power of the working class in Britain. We can force this weak, divided government to retreat, but only if the action is stepped up. The leadership of the TUC and Unison supported N30 because of the pressure of rank and file trade unionists – now we need to do the same again. PCS demanded that the meeting name the day for the next day of national coordinated strike action. In Scotland, Unison delegates have already unanimously proposed 25 January as the day of the next strike.
We all – public and private sector workers alike – need to pile on the pressure for the date of the next strike to be set before Christmas, and to take place in January.
Sign the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pensions_strike_january/
PCS Left Unity is organising an open meeting at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London on Saturday 7 January to demand further action on pensions. This meeting will be open to all reps in any union that took action on N30 and is to put pressure on union leaderships to name a further strike day.