Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15210

Posted on 11 September 2012 at 18:40 GMT

NSSN marching to lobby the TUC for a 24-hour general strike, 9.9.12, photo Sarah Mayo

NSSN marching to lobby the TUC for a 24-hour general strike, 9.9.12, photo Sarah Mayo   (Click to enlarge)

TUC passes general strike motion

Following what was described by one observer as the best debate she had ever witnessed at a TUC congress, union delegates voted overwhelmingly for 'motion 5', moved by the POA union (prison officers) in favour of a general strike against the government's austerity.

Although the wording of the motion qualified the general strike call, arguing for "coordinated action where possible with far reaching campaigns including the consideration and practicalities of a general strike", the sentiment and motivation behind it was made clear by the speakers in favour.

They pointed to the brutal attacks being made on the most vulnerable in society and on all workers by the Con-Dem government and the need for them to be stopped by the trade union movement leading powerful general strike action involving the public and private sectors.

Hard hitting speeches along these lines were made in favour of the motion by Steve Gillan from the POA, Bob Crow from the RMT (who seconded it), John McInally from the PCS and a number of others.

A Ucatt representative had a big effect when he urged delegates not to make 'the mistakes of the past' in failing to lead action, and he reminded everyone that when the trade union leaders threatened a general strike in 1972 after the jailing of the Pentonville Five dockers, those workers were released.

NSSN lobby of the TUC, Brighton, Sept 2012, photo by Pete Mason

NSSN lobby of the TUC, Brighton, Sept 2012, photo by Pete Mason   (Click to enlarge)

Opposition speakers from Prospect, the ATL, Balpa, NASUWT and Usdaw tried to convince delegates to vote against the motion by claiming that most trade union members don't want a general strike, by arguing that it's impossible to achieve and that the call for one would be a propaganda weapon for the government.

In replying to the debate however, Steve Gillan, referring to those who argued that the government would use the call for a general strike as 'a big stick to beat us', answered forcefully: 'The government is already using a big stick against us, and it is hurting'.

The passing of this motion is a great step forward in the battle that has been waged to push the leaders of the TUC towards mobilising the weight of the trade movement against the government's cuts agenda.

Support delivered for the resolution from the large unions Unite and Unison to add to that of unions such as the RMT and PCS, reflects the mood of rank and file trade union members in favour of decisive action to stand up to the government.

The Socialist Party and the National Stop Stewards Network welcome the passing of the POA motion; both have been at the forefront of spearheading and mobilising support for the calling of a 24-hour general strike.

In particular, the inspiring and well attended march and lobby of the TUC organised by the NSSN on Sunday played an important part in building momentum for this victory.

Now we need to demand that the TUC general council urgently discusses the naming of a day for the strike.

We also need to help make sure that the 20 October TUC demonstrations in London, Belfast and Glasgow against the government's agenda are huge, and use those events as an opportunity to further develop support for a 24-hour general strike and for concrete preparations for it by the trade union leaders.


See also report of NSSN lobby:

NSSN lobby demands a 24-hour general strike


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 11 September 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Strike:

triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on 16 January; Over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attack on pensions. Photo James Ivens

triangleWestex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

triangleLondon bus drivers ballot to strike

triangleNorthern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

triangleInternational wave of revolt continues

General strike:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: What is a general strike?

triangleHow can we build workers' action to support the climate strikes?

triangleAlgeria uprising: 'We stay here until the whole system goes'

triangleFor a Catalan republic of workers and the people

Government:

triangleCladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

triangleNo free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

triangleTV Review: Apocalypse Cow

Union:

triangleUnion lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line

trianglePCS: Time to rebuild the left

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

15/1/20

Unison

Reverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

15/1/20

NHS

Build for strikes to save NHS

15/1/20

Labour leadership

Labour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

15/1/20

Nationalisation

No free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

15/1/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

15/1/20

Minimum wage

Low Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

8/1/20

Austerity

Ignore the hype - austerity goes on: organise to resist

8/1/20

Capitalism

Capitalism must go - fight for socialism

8/1/20

Minimum wage

Tory minimum wage hike not enough

8/1/20

Labour leadership

Labour leadership election

8/1/20

Brexit

Trouble ahead for Johnson: Brexit is far from 'done'

8/1/20

Middle East

Suleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

8/1/20

Shell

Shell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

8/1/20

Children

Children need intensive care? We don't care!

8/1/20

Rail

Northern Rail franchise in question: nationalise the railways!

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999