TUC GENERAL Secretary Brendan Barber called it “a terrific success”. Prime Minister David Cameron says it was a “damp squib”. But the public sector strike that shut down over two-thirds of all schools and paralysed local government throughout Britain was anything but the futile exercise Cameron would have his followers believe.
Last week’s national strike certainly shook the Cameron government. Millions of workers went on strike on 30th November despite the best efforts of the Tories and their Liberal Democrat collaborators to split and divide the unions in the run-up to Pension Justice Day.
The protest strike and the demonstrations across the country in support of the TUC’s day of action were supported by 30 unions, representing over two million teachers, health workers, civil servants and local authority workers. The industrial action, the biggest in British labour history, was a powerful display of the strength of organised labour that reflected the growing mass support for the campaign against the Coalition Government’s attempts to cut pensions and pension rights to pay for the deficit caused by the slump across the entire capitalist world.
The ruling class claims that we are all in this together. But their parasitical lives of luxury and ease continue unscathed while working people face a future of unemployment, poverty and homelessness.
These worthless people, even now, are not even prepared to see a serious tax on their profits or income to cushion the blow to the working class, who create all the wealth in the first place.
Their media pundits claim that austerity is the only way out of the crisis but they say nothing about the billions spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Libya or the billions that the ruling class will just as easily find for their planned attacks on Syria and Iran. In fact there is only one way out of the capitalist crisis and that is socialism and the planned economy that does away with exploitation and oppression altogether.
Cameron can bleat all he likes about improved offers, continuing negotiations and that strikes achieve nothing. But everybody on the front-line of the cuts offensive knows that any crumbs the Cameron Coalition puts on the table for some workers will be paid for by robbing others and that the Government is determined to force public sector workers to work longer and pay more into pensions that will be worth much less than what they were promised when they were first employed.
The intensification of the Government’s draconian austerity programme and its decision to cap public sector pay rises to one per cent for the next two years shows that Cameron & Co have no intention of backing down in their determination to make working people foot the entire bill for the capitalist crisis. And we will pay for the slump in lost jobs, fewer benefits and poorer services if we don’t fight back.
Last week must only be the beginning of a mass campaign to resist the cuts every inch of the way and to mobilise the labour movement for greater national actions to bring down the Government to force new elections and the return of a Labour leadership committed to supporting the just demands of organised labour.