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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 November 2015

Action gets results

Strike together to Kill the Bill

John McInally, PCS civil servants' union vice president (personal capacity)

The trade union bill being rushed through Parliament aims at removing any effective opposition to the Tories' austerity agenda by placing huge obstacles to organising legal strike action. It also amounts to state-sponsored blacklisting and criminalisation of union activity.


The Tories fear the potential power of the six million-strong trade union movement, the biggest democratic force in society. With effective fighting leadership, it would be capable of uniting working and middle class people against the Tories' destruction of our public services.

More than anything the Tories fear strike action, the most effective weapon we have to defend our interests. This assault reflects their concern that the trade union movement could mobilise and lead the anti-austerity movement.

This bill is not separate from all the other attacks against our class. Public sector-wide coordinated strike action would be the best and most effective response against the public sector pay freeze and the bill.

In 2011 millions of public sector workers glimpsed their collective strength only to see it squandered by leaders in a deal that sold their pension rights.

Union leaders should not be some kind of diplomatic corps shuttling between the government and their members, concession bargaining away jobs, services, conditions and our rights. This bill must be opposed in its entirety; there can be no last minute 'concessions' from the Tories that could justify a line of it it becoming law.

Union leaderships who have fought back have been singled out - the Tories have tried to smash PCS through a whole range of attacks including withdrawal of the check-off system. But they failed and our union is emerging even stronger. Campaigning works and action gets results.

National Gallery

This was demonstrated by the achievement of National Gallery strikers who saw their jobs privatised but won the London living wage, guarantees on terms and conditions and the reinstatement of their sacked rep.

If the TUC and union leaders had organised effective collective action against cuts and privatisation then the Tories wouldn't have the confidence to table the legislation at all.

United action can defeat austerity and can make this legislation unworkable if it passes through parliament - if there is effective determined leadership across the movement and not just in individual unions.

Protest the final reading of the Tory's anti-trade union bill

6pm Tuesday 10 November Parliament Square

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 4 November 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

10 an hour now!

Unions must capitalise on mass anger at austerity and anti-union laws

The 'tampon tax' is a tax on being a woman

Long hours ruining health without lifting productivity

Transgender woman locked up in male prison

Tory bid to turn co-op tenants against one another

Them & Us

What we saw

International socialist news and analysis

US: #blacklivesmatter movement challenges racism

Turkey: Erdogan's victory based on fear and intimidation

International news in brief

Socialist Party features

The Socialist: A fighting antidote to the mainstream media's lies

The socialist case for nationalisation of the steel industry

Struggle for solidarity with refugees must be anti-austerity

Where did the unions' money go?

Workplace news and analysis

Strike together to Kill the Bill

Determined DLR strikers to "fight all the way"

Unison general secretary election - vote Roger Bannister

London Underground rep targeted for trade union activity

Fire service cuts put people at risk

Solidarity action for victimised Unison rep

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Wrong: Owen Jones tells Labour "abandon anti-austerity"

Cycle cheat Armstrong's hypocrisy and bullying

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist campaign: buy it, sell it - read it, write it

Socialist Party joins campaign against NHS bullying

Super Southampton fighting fund campaign


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