Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/587/7511

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 July 2009

Action now to defend public sector

We won't pay for the capitalist crisis

Unison Local Government strike 16-17 July in London, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison Local Government strike 16-17 July in London, photo Paul Mattsson

THE BATTLE lines are being drawn in the public sector. Chancellor Alistair Darling has warned of a 'tight squeeze' on the pay of six million public sector workers and a further 'efficiency drive' this summer.
Steve Bundred, chief executive of the government's Audit Commission, wrote in The Observer that he hoped 5 billion or more would be saved by reducing public sector workers' pay. Job cuts and a pay freeze are the government's plans for the future of public services. NANCY TAAFFE, a trade union activist in Waltham Forest, says it is time to fight back.

"PAY CUTS and job losses are not just statistics for us. In Waltham Forest borough in east London, the council's cuts could total over 50 million. That's not yet an official figure, but such cuts would threaten an Armageddon of job losses and pay cuts at a time of rising unemployment.

It's no longer a question of fighting piecemeal against a silent erosion as we have done over the last ten years. Now, we could face a full-on assault on services. The government is trying to turn public opinion against public-sector workers, saying we have got to pay.

The government ignores the fact that during the boom years in the City of London, many public-sector workers completely missed out. Most of us never saw huge pay increases or dramatic improvements in our conditions. Last year, for instance, when the inflation rate stood at 4%, public-sector workers got a 2.5% rise.

Scotland council workers strike, photo International Socialists

Scotland council workers strike, photo International Socialists

It is astonishing that public-sector workers are now being asked to pay, in effect, for last autumn's bailouts of the banking system.

Even in the so-called good years, staff worked on skeleton staffing levels, going from one emergency to another with no chance of planning their work. These new threats would make things far worse.

Now we need to see a big initiative from the public-sector trade unions, as has happened in France and Ireland, for instance. There, the unions called on the general public to defend the services that give ordinary workers the essentials that they could not afford to pay for privately. Trade union activists nationwide are demanding such a fighting policy, which is definitely needed.

The government is also talking about a public-sector strike ban. That's outrageous. Defending the public sector is vital to protect the living standards of the vast majority of people.

If we cannot defend ourselves by strike action against these attacks on vital services, the whole working class loses. Anti-strike laws are a deliberate attempt to stop us preserving all the gains made by the working class and will meet massive opposition.

In Waltham Forest there have been initiatives to unite community activists and public sector workers. Now the threat of cuts means there is even more need for unity.

Public-sector workers need to be in the forefront, but we need to draw in other people behind us. Public sector alliances were set up in many areas in the early 1990s. Such bodies will have to come back into existence to stop the wholesale destruction of vital services.

And we should fight all government attempts to split private and public-sector workers. Private sector workers should support their public services while public-sector workers need to support private sector workers in battles for jobs, pay and conditions.

The urgent need is to build united action against all the attacks on workers' jobs, wages and all our services."

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 7 July 2009:

Action now to defend public sector


Youth fight for jobs

Jobs not dole


Socialist Party editorial

Brown's dead duck government

Postal workers need a national fightback


Socialist Party news and analysis

National Express goes off the rails

First Bus - no to pay freeze

Demanding justice for Shrewsbury 24

News in brief


Socialist Party women

Why women don't have real equality


International socialist news and analysis

Police trigger ethnic clashes in Xinjiang

Honduras coup - a warning to workers in Latin America

Sri Lanka: Protest over DfID role


Socialist Party reviews

Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

Arundhati Roy - politics and literature


Education

Higher fees in higher education

Drama students enter the stage of struggle

Teachers' MOTs

First strike against Trust schools

Strike against BSF proposals


Socialist Party workplace news

RMT Annual General Meeting: "If provoked - Will strike"

Save jobs at Vestas wind turbine plant

Private companies caught in jobcentre scam

South West Wales Media: Fight for jobs, defend conditions

Oilc - fighting for decent working conditions in the North Sea


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 July 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Public sector:

triangleSouth Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign

trianglePCS elections: Support socialist candidates

triangleProbation privatisation failure

trianglePCS: Vote Yes to strike for better pay

triangleTrade union action to end low pay now!

Pay:

triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleOur lives and livelihoods at stake

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building a political voice for the working class

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The poll tax - how a mass movement won

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: China Rising? New world situation, new world order

Alistair Darling:

triangleLetters

Public-sector:

trianglePCS: the real issues at stake

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/9/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

16/9/20

Socialist Party

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

16/9/20

Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'

16/9/20

Coventry

Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

16/9/20

NHS

Angry health workers demand 15% now!

16/9/20

Usdaw

Reinstate Richie Venton

16/9/20

Hull

Reinstate Tony Smith

16/9/20

Strike

Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

16/9/20

London

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

16/9/20

Ireland

Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

16/9/20

PCS

PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

16/9/20

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Two weeks to donate: we need your help

9/9/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism

9/9/20

Amazon

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

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: 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

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999