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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 May 2013

PCS conference 20-23 May

Campaigning works: Action gets results

John McInally, National vice-president Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), personal capacity
PCS strike on budget day, 20 March 2013 with NSSN 24 hour general strike placard , photo Paul Mattsson

PCS strike on budget day, 20 March 2013 with NSSN 24 hour general strike placard , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The re-election of the Democracy Alliance national executive committee is a real blow to the government's attempt to break PCS members' resolve.

The re-election of a fighting left leadership is a mandate to continue with the strategy of industrial action of varying duration and timing which is causing disruption and real concern among management. It is also an endorsement of the union's campaign against austerity.

The alternative promoted by PCS is now widely supported and is gaining further endorsement throughout the trade union movement and beyond.

Austerity isn't working, except of course for the tiny ruling elite who are enriching themselves at the expense of the vast majority in society.

The millionaire Coalition cabinet hate PCS, mainly because we have exposed the great lie that there is no alternative to austerity.

Rather than setting out a clear alternative, Labour is campaigning with an austerity-lite programme. This could mean another inconclusive general election result.

Some are already calling for a coalition with the Liberals, who are now universally despised for their collaboration with austerity.

If the TUC implemented its policy of coordinated joint industrial action against the attacks on pay and pensions we could get rid of this government.

Some union leaders, the worst being the leadership of Unison, are operating a de facto no-strike agreement with Labour leader Miliband in order, they imagine, not to upset Labour's chances of winning the election.

Right-wing union leaders are prepared to see vicious attacks on their members and workers generally, including the full-scale privatisation of the NHS, rather than organise to build action to get rid of this hated government.

Last year, Unison leader Prentis promised a 'Unison spring' when he would break the pay freeze. It's nearing the end of spring and he is nowhere to be seen.

The TUC are organising to bring together those unions prepared to coordinate their disputes. PCS, as always, will be at the forefront of any such initiative.

The PCS strategy is based on building the widest possible alliance in society, in the trade union movement and in our communities to combat the government's austerity policies, including the hated bedroom tax.

The key though is to build joint coordinated strike action across the public and private sectors.

A strike by the teachers in the North West in June may well be followed by more action. PCS will do all it can to coordinate with such initiatives.

Industrial action by PCS in the various departmental groups over the past year has resulted in some significant gains, on issues from staffing increases to protecting workplace nurseries. The lesson is simple - Campaigning works: Action gets results.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 15 May 2013:


Fight the bedroom tax

Axe the killer tax: End the bedroom tax now

Bedroom tax non-implementation


Socialist Party news and analysis

Give us jobs, not Tory lies

Stop the health cuts!

Fat cat tax-dodging: 200 lorry loads of lolly!

Con-Dems' benefit fact fraud

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Japan's 'Abenomics'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

TUSC builds support in Leicester byelection

Swansea's food bank for students

British government supports murderous Sri Lankan regime

Socialist Party meeting against cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Gloves off in Mid Yorks hospital battle

Brighton bin workers fight pay cuts - this time from the Greens

Wales TUC: no fight against austerity

Unison leader 'gets it wrong' over action on pay

PCS conference 20-23 May

One Housing

Workplace news in brief


Reader's comment

Letter to the Tories who tell me to 'work hard and strive'


Socialist history

When mass action defeated Thatcher's poll tax

Yeadon Mill strike 1913


 

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Related links:

PCS:

triangleChange in leadership needed to secure union's future

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

triangleSocialists call for trade unions to join the fight

trianglePCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

triangleUnsafe Workplace? "It's up to you" PCS tells reps and members

Union:

triangleEquity union president elections: re-elect Maureen

triangleCome to the NSSN conference

triangleTories put profit before lives

triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

Austerity:

triangleBoris's new big deal

triangleNews in brief

triangleReading workers' movement responds to knife attack

John McInally:

trianglePCS Left Unity election: All votes should count

triangleIncreased majority for Democracy Alliance

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