Socialist Appeal - British section of the International Marxist Tendency: the Marxist voice of labour and youth.
Workers have not only been balloting for action in Britain but also in Northern Ireland, where the Tory-led Coalition's attacks on pensions will also apply if carried out. Fightback - the voice of Marxism in Ireland - reports on the ballot results in the North.

The result of NIPSA’s ballot on industrial action for the 30th November is a clear demonstration that public sector workers are prepared to fight to defend their pensions. (NIPSA - the Northern Ireland Public Sector Alliance covers union members across the civil and public service and the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland)

But even more so, the fact that 43% of workers voted in the ballot is a sign that the mood is solid and also determined. 


Here are the official ballot results:

In Favour of Strike Action



Against Strike Action



In Favour of Action Short of Strike Action



Against Action Short of Strike Action



The turnout was



The General Council also made clear the reasons why they were unimpressed with the Tory/Lib Dem coalitions so called amended proposals:

  • There was no withdrawal or alternative to the plans to significantly increase employee contributions at a time when salaries were effectively frozen.
  • The government would not restore the inflation mechanism for uprating public service pensions in payment from the Consumer Price Index to the Retail Price Index.
  • The government still expect public servants to work until 66 (with effect from 2020) before they receive their public service pension.

NIPSA General Council 7th November 2011

As we have reported the strike action on November 30th will be on a scale unprecedented for decades. The political implications in the North of the economic crisis are still playing themselves out. One thing is for certain, neither Sinn Féin nor the DUP have any answer to what is the deepest crisis in world capitalism for generations.

An eruption of the class struggle in the North would demonstrate the potential that exists to fight for a better future. Unity in struggle is the basis for genuine workers unity, workers unity is a concrete question not a mere slogan. The Tories attack on pensions affects Catholic Workers and Protestant workers also.

One thing is for certain a public sector general strike will affect the consciousness of all classes in the North. As James Connolly said in relation to the struggle for the eight hour day in Belfast in 1913 the forces of Labour generally seem to be gathering for a battle of battles for the things that really matter.”


Belfast - noon, four feeder marches assemble at: Central Railway Station, Bridge Street, BT1 3PB; Mater Hospital, Crumlin Road, BT14 7AB; Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, BT12 6BA; City Hospital, Lisburn Rd, Belfast, County Antrim BT9 7ER. They will march to a rally at 1pm at Belfast City Hall, Donegall Square, BT1 5GS.