Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 July 2005

Unions prepare for new pension attacks

THE THREAT of united strike action before the general election forced the Labour government to back down temporarily on its plans to cut public-sector workers' pension rights - particularly the planned increase in the retirement age from 60 to 65.

Bill Mullins

Since then the unions involved in public-sector pension schemes have been meeting together under the umbrella of the Public Service Forum. (The joint trade union, government and employers' forum that is negotiating on the future of public-sector pension schemes).

At the first meeting of the Public Service Forum at the beginning of July, the government made clear its position: "You are living too long. Private-sector workers are being attacked so why shouldn't public-sector workers be? And public-sector workers are not low paid!"

Union leaders must put their members on a war footing if we are to defeat the attacks permanently.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is proposing to put the following resolution to the TUC conference this September:

"Congress congratulates the public-sector unions on their willingness to take united action against the government's proposed imposition of a compulsory rise in the pension age to 65. We welcome the government's subsequent acceptance that all aspects of the proposals will be open to genuine negotiation. However, Congress believes that the government will continue to argue strongly for the pension age to increase. We believe that to defend our members' interests it will be necessary to maintain and enhance the public-sector campaign alliance and to organise together for maximum pressure should further united industrial action prove necessary. To that end, Congress calls on the General Council and Executive Committee to:

This resolution in our view points the clearest way forward. In particular it calls for the united front of all unions against the government, so clearly demonstrated in practice before the general election, should be maintained.

A national demonstration in defence of public-sector pensions, involving tens of thousands of workers, would be a beacon to all workers - in the public and private sectors. UNISON members should be aware that a similar policy calling for a national demo was carried at their recent conference. But UNISON's national executive have ignored this in their TUC resolution on pensions.

This is a clear warning that some union leaders, despite the rhetoric, do not want to stir things up with a national demonstration. They are hoping for a cosy deal with New Labour.

Now the general election is out of the way, Blair and Brown see no reason to keep the union leaders sweet. As Blair said immediately after the election, they are intent on pursuing "an unremitting New Labour policy for the public sector".

This can only mean more privatisation, more attacks on jobs and pay and more attacks on pension rights. We have been warned.

All union activists should demand that their union gets behind the PCS resolution at the TUC conference and prepare for a mighty united struggle against New Labour in defence of pension rights.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 28 July 2005:

Workers' unity against war and terrorism

Repression won't prevent terrorism

Jean Charles de Menezes: Angry marchers demand justice

Tube drivers say safety is paramount

Workers' unity needed against war, terror and racism

Book your stalls for the Freshers' fairs now!

Book now for Summer Camp

Brazil: Lula government in crisis

Fighting the low pay scandal

Unions prepare for new pension attacks

Strike ballot to defend Rolls Royce convenor


Home   |   The Socialist 28 July 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

triangleTory think tank proposes attack on pensions

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

triangleFrance: Battle over pension rights continues

triangleWest London Socialist Party: French workers - fighting back against Macron


triangleJobs, training, pay, we want a future!

triangleA Socialist Party poster held on the Saturday 12 September demonstration in Bristol, part of a day of action in solidarity with NHS & social care workers who are demanding increased pay. Photo by Mike Luff

triangleCovid testing the TUC

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Trade unions in the era of Covid and capitalist crises


trianglePCS: the real issues at stake

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed


Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'



Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges



Angry health workers demand 15% now!



Reinstate Richie Venton



Reinstate Tony Smith



Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally



London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute



Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out



PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours


National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC


Socialist Party

Two weeks to donate: we need your help


Black Lives Matter

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism



Fight Amazon's anti-union spies

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 075 4018 9052

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



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020