Notably, Britain’s ‘striketober’ will begin with coordinated action on the country’s railways, as the RMT, ASLEF, and TSSA unions walk out together on the first day of the month, in their long-running dispute over jobs, pay, conditions, and safety.
They will be joined on 1 October by posties in the CWU, who are also fighting over pay and conditions, against belligerent Royal Mail bosses.
Not only have these strikes been completely solid, bringing both ports to a standstill, but they have also been aided by solidarity from dockers in Southampton, who have taken unofficial action by refusing to handle ships diverted to the city as a result of these walkouts.
Wheels on the bus
The beginning of October will also see bus strikes at First Bus South West in Somerset and Cornwell, and at Arriva in Kent.
The latter will involve over 600 drivers bringing the wheels on the bus to a halt, as Unite members strike on five days over the next two weeks in their struggle for a real wage rise.
This follows successful strike action at Arriva North West this summer, with union members in Unite and GMB joining forces to score a victory against bus bosses, securing an above-inflation pay increase.
Similarly, 2,000 Arriva drivers in north London are now being balloted over whether to accept a new pay offer, following threats of indefinite action.
All the while, criminal barristers organised in the CBA will be continuing their all-out strike in protest against Tory cuts to the justice system.
Alongside these live strikes, workers across the public sector are being balloted for national strike action.
This includes PCS members in the civil service; NEU members in schools; RCN members in the NHS; and UCU members in higher education, paving the way for potential joint action with campus colleagues organised in Unison.
All of these simultaneous struggles demonstrates the possibility of – and need for – mass coordinated action across the trade union movement.
This is what union leaders must boldly call for when they meet at the postponed TUC Congress, due to take place in Brighton on 18-20 October.
Motions are on the agenda calling for joint action between the unions, as part of a united fightback against the Tories and bosses. These must be enthusiastically passed and energetically acted upon.
Enough is enough
As suggested in Unison’s TUC Congress motion, coordinated industrial action should be part of a national campaign of protests and strikes, linked to local rallies and demonstrations.
The ‘Enough is Enough’ protests organised to take place across the country this Saturday (1 October) – in support of the strike action occurring on the same day, and against the incoming hike in energy bills – show the way forward.
It’s time to say #EnoughlsEnough— Enough is Enough (@eiecampaign) September 27, 2022
This Saturday, October 1st, we’ll be protesting in 50 cities and towns across Britain:
For pay rises, against the energy rip-off, to end food poverty – and to say no to handouts for the rich.
RT to spread the word 👊https://t.co/4ZuUUQQ2ZV pic.twitter.com/R2CqVNg0fb
These follow on from huge ‘Enough is Enough’ rallies that have taken place in towns and cities up-and-down the UK in recent weeks, showing the enthusiasm, energy, and anger that exists amongst workers and youth.
Similarly, this Sunday will see thousands of activists descend on the streets of Birmingham to protest outside the Tory Party conference.
The whole of the labour movement – including union branches, trades councils, and local Labour parties – must galvanise rank-and-file members to maximise the turnout for these upcoming mass mobilisations.
And student activists should organise to join the protests and picket lines, offering their full support and solidarity, and bolstering the numbers and dynamism on the demonstrations.
Overthrow their system
This must be the platform for a mass campaign of rolling, escalated joint action across the unions and across the country – uniting all these struggles into one unstoppable force, capable of pushing this criminal Tory government from power.
For starters, with so many public sector unions balloting for action, a one-day public sector wide strike is inherent in the situation. And with Truss’ Tories threatening to bring in even more draconian anti-union laws, trade union leaders have raised the idea of a general strike.
The Tories and bosses have declared class war on workers. This Thatcherite government has tanked the economy in order to offer handouts to the rich, whilst leaving the rest of us to clean up their mess.
It is time to take the battle to these class enemies, and fight to overthrow their bankrupt system.
Enough is enough. Tinkering around the edges will not suffice. Only the struggle for socialism will do.