MILLIONS of public sector workers will walk out next Wednesday in a TUC Day of Action against the ruling class attack on pensions. Civil servants, health and local government workers will be supported by the student movement and many more workers are expected to join the protests and lobbies on the day.
Some 20 unions, including the giant teaching, civil service and local government unions as well as those representing specialist and senior grades, will be taking in part in what will be the biggest national stoppage in British labour movement history.
Government ministers are bleating that they’ve made concessions to the unions and that the strike should be called off. But they’ve offered next to nothing and the little that they have put on the table still means increased contributions and lower pensions for all public sector workers, along with the prospect that most will have to retire later to get much less than what they signed up for when they were first employed.
The Tory-led Coalition Government’s cuts are part of a general offensive against the public sector designed to place the entire burden of the capitalist crisis on the backs of the working class. The purpose of the pension cuts is to raise £2.8 billion to pay for the deficit and pave the way for the sell-off of what’s left of the public sector.
It’s all part of an austerity plan designed to squeeze the pips from the working class to ensure that the rich can continue to live their parasitical lives of ease and pleasure as they have always done.
Unemployment is soaring. Some 2.57 million are now out of work using the official criteria which excludes many the tens of thousands of others that used to be counted in official statistics. Workers are working longer hours for less pay while education and the health service are being slashed. And it’s not just in Britain.
The world-wide slump has plunged the entire capitalist world into crisis. Millions upon millions have been thrown out of work in Europe and North America. Social services are being cut throughout the heartlands of imperialism. Those still in work are taxed to pay for what little benefits are left, as well as fund the Nato war-machine that’s used to oppress and plunder the Libyan, Iraqi and Afghan people.
But the rich carry on unscathed. No one in the Government or the other chancelleries of the European Union is telling them to tighten their belts. And all the ruling class has to offer workers is longer hours, less pay, poverty and creeping fascism.
The alternative is job creation and investment instead of the damaging cuts that are devastating communities. The way out of the capitalist crisis is socialism and the planned economy that does away with exploitation and oppression altogether. But first we must build the resistance to stop the ruling class offensive in its tracks and bring down the Cameron-led government.
A massive strike across the country will send a clear message to the Tories and their Liberal Democrat collaborators that these cuts are unacceptable and that they will be resisted all the way. Next week we will tell them what they can do with their cuts.