On November 30th 2011,
three million public sector workers will strike over the
government’s attacks on their pensions. This coordinated strike action
represents the biggest strike movement since the general strike in 1926.
To all intents and purposes it will be a 24-hour public sector general
strike. Unison have already announced a large majority vote for action.
On Sunday October 2nd, some 40,000 trade
unionists and anti-cuts campaigners took part in a March for the Alternative
through the streets of Manchester city centre to lobby the Tory Party
Conference. Although this was a national TUC organised event it was obvious
that most of those present came from the North and North West of the UK with
only a sprinkling further south from Wales, Bristol and some parts of London.
Birmingham council Unison members once again manned the picket lines on 21 September, for a second day of strike action against the Con-Dem council’s threat to impose ‘Martini’ contracts on the authority’s 26,000 workers.
If the report in Today's edition of the Guardian (click here
to read it) is to be believed it seems that the Labour leadership has
decided to ignore any of the good stuff which may have come out of the
Refounding Labour consultation exercise and instead dig up some old
Blairite/New Labour garbage. Yet again, they want to dilute the union
presence in the party decision making process. Given that the mood in
the movement is for a more powerful annual conference rather than the
jamboree it became under Blair, Ed Miliband has offered up some
'reforms' of his own.
Cambridge saw all the four striking unions out in the city,
with PCS members on strike at the job centre and the local HMRC offices, the
UCU out at Anglia Ruskin University and the Cambridge Regional College, and NUT
and ATL members shutting down a number of schools in the area. Armed with our
solidarity chocolate, we visited a number of picket lines to chat to workers
and offer our support.