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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2014

10 July public sector strike: United action can beat austerity

Part of the 2011 N30 London demo, photo Senan

Part of the 2011 N30 London demo, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Semple, PCS union, recently elected on the work and pensions group executive committee

Trade union members want action on the most basic demand of all: pay.

Since the onset of the economic crisis, the living standards of ordinary people have plummeted by an average of 15%. Tory Chancellor George Osborne tells us there is a recovery, but workers in the public or private sector are not feeling it.

A measly 1% pay rise for public sector workers is still a pay cut when inflation is at 2% and more. Meanwhile, the price of necessary goods has risen by 33% since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007.

10 July (J10) is the date being discussed by sections of Unite, Unison in local government, the NUT and the PCS for a joint strike on pay.

Members from the PCS, which organises civil service workers, meeting recently at our Annual Delegate Conference in Brighton, were very clear that we want action.

I'm sure the mood among other public sector workers is the same - that they will be prepared to enter into a determined struggle if they see their leaderships willing to organise it, as the PCS leaders are, and to press on until victory is achieved.

The 1% cap is a policy that is being applied across the public sector - except to MPs! It is central to the government's austerity policies. Workers must be united in taking them on.

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is holding its eighth annual conference in London's Conway Hall on 5 July. I will be attending this event and I urge all fellow reps and trade union brothers and sisters to do likewise.

The NSSN has been consistent in its demand for joint action and for a one-day general strike against austerity. It has been a repository of rank-and-file activism, which helped bring about the N30 strike of two million workers in 2011.

As well as reports from the labour movement, such as the Fast Food Rights campaign, we will discuss how to ensure the success of any J10 strike.

J10 must be the beginning of a concerted campaign ready to go the distance against the Con-Dems and whichever pro-austerity government follows it - the NSSN will play a role in ensuring that.


National Shop Stewards Network eighth annual conference

11am-5pm, Saturday 5 July, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL - Delegate/visitor fee 6 - shopstewards.net

Confirmed speakers include a $15 Won! Seattle minimum wage campaigner, RMT president Peter Pinkney, Ronnie Draper BFAWU general secretary, POA general secretary Steve Gillan and Janice Godrich PCS president


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In The Socialist 11 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS: Private profit kills

Newark byelection: capitalist parties in crisis

'Trojan Horse': who is attacking education?

World Cup carnival can't hide corruption and injustice

Them & Us


Anniversaries

Tiananmen Square 1989

The battle of Orgreave


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: European elections redefine political map

Greece: CWI councillors elected


Socialist Party workplace news

10 July: United action can beat austerity

Bakers' union calls for general strike

Unison: No waiting for Labour - fight the job cuts

Housing workers strike against rep suspension

Firefighters to walk out for 24-hours

Care UK workers continue dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Now is the time to join the Socialists!

Why I'm a socialist

Stevenage: EDL not welcome here

Cuts consensus: Labour joins with Ukip to back Tory council


Readers' comments and reviews

Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall

Obituary: George Duff


 

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Related links:

Public sector:

trianglePCS elections: Support socialist candidates

triangleProbation privatisation failure

trianglePCS: Vote Yes to strike for better pay

triangleTrade union action to end low pay now!

triangleHarrowing accounts of austerity at Unison women's conference

Strike:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

triangleStrikes: more determined than ever

triangleRoyal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

triangleIt's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

Austerity:

triangleSocial workers lobby Hull City Council

triangleUnite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

triangleEnd council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangle'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

triangleLondon - 'autumn of discontent'

PCS:

trianglePCS general secretary election

Pay:

trianglePay Deal: ACAS sides with management

NSSN:

triangleLobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out Tories

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