Thursday, 17 November 2011

A brief comment on the 30th November strike action

This is the first of what I hope to be several posts on the 30th November strikes.  It's actually a comment I posted on the Liverpool Echo website in response to their news piece on the forthcoming strike, the tone of which appears to be largely hostile.  The response to my comment has been hugely and pleasingly positive. 

I'm a private sector worker who is not on strike that day. I will be marching alongside trade unionists in solidarity. The strike might nominally be about pensions, with ministers expecting working people to pay more and work longer for less (and that's for those lucky enough to have a job at all) while they continue to take huge salaries and allow the likes of Tesco, Sainsburys and Poundland to employ young people without paying them a penny for their work, allowing banks to do what they like, allowing corporations to take multi-billion pound profits without paying any tax, and allowing their friends and donors to take over our hospitals and put profit before patients.

It's important that working people very quickly draw a line in the sand and tell the government where to go. There will be classic attempts to divide public and private sector workers from each other over this dispute. Everybody needs to remember that workers will always have more in common with each other than with any politician, and we need to stick together because at the end of the day, it is the workers the government and the boardrooms are expecting to pay dearly for the mess they've made and everybody, public and private sector workers, will suffer at their hands.

I don't want to grow old, or see kids growing up, having to work two or even three jobs just to pay the rent and fuel bills. I don't want a world where illness or injury can mean a lifetime of debt for medical bills for the poorest people. I want a world where ordinary people stick together to fight injustices like that, and to fight for the hard-won gains of past decades, like the NHS, and to make them better. Politicians won't do this for us. They've long been in the pockets of business, so we need to do this ourselves and industrial action like this is a necessary first step. We need to be organized in order to fight for what is ours.

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