|Against Tory & Labour Cuts! All-out on strike May 10!|
|Tuesday, 08 May 2012 04:12|
Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat - the message is clear, “rob from the people and give to the rich and powerful.” The impact of cuts is hitting us all, our children, our pensioners, our jobs, nothing is spared. We have to unite our struggles and re-invigorate the anger that was displayed on November 30 and that has resurged pushing Unite and PCS to call further strikes; 90 per cent of these union members have rejected the government’s “final offer”. We must fully support these workers and RMT members in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary who will also be out on strike on May 10. This is a call for workers and communities to come out and reject this wholesale robbery of our essential public services.
The sycophantic support for the Labour party by union leaderships has betrayed the struggle to defeat the government cuts. The interests of workers, communities and young people have been abandoned. This is why the Labour vote was destroyed in Bradford with a 37 per cent swing to George Galloway who obtained more votes than all the other candidates put together.
The closed signs now appearing outside the libraries, “no books today!” part-time services are a graphic symbol of what is happening to all services, hospitals and schools will follow. People are suffering now, however the cuts so far only account for 10 per cent of what’s to come.
The attacks on welfare are deepening, the social fund is to be abolished and handed over to local authorities with no ringfencing for those in need and Department of Works and Pensions staff are to be cut by 25 per cent. As jobs across all services are being cut unemployed people are being forced to work for no pay, Workfare schemes have been adopted by big companies like Tesco and many more.
Britain is trying to prevent a deepening of its crisis by helping the EU put the burden of the world crisis that is centred in Europe onto countries such as Ireland, Greece and Portugal and by exploiting other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The devastation of countries through wars, occupation and assisting multi-nationals to rob what they can, is part of the strategy to prevent Britain from plunging into the abyss.
The other part of this strategy is to deepen the social war against the 99 per cent of the population. In this the Labour party is no different to the government. Labour know that the anger of workers is building daily and will sweep away the old relationships just as happened in the Bradford by-election. Labour has not opposed the cuts, labour councils are slashing services and jobs and trying to privatise what is left. They are supporting this government who pander to the rich elites and betraying the people they claim to represent.
Furthermore Labour supports the attacks by the European Union which put the burden on countries like Greece. However as these countries are pushed further down Britain will also go deeper into the vortex of the crisis.
The public debt was not created by the unemployed, immigrants, or public services, the public debt was created in order to save the British banks from collapse. Since the onset of the crisis in 2008 banks continue to support wars and enslaving people in the interests of the multi-nationals.
Military aggression abroad and social war at home is the order of the day to save their system, a system in its ‘death agony’. This is what is behind the suffering of the masses. The European Manifesto of the IWL says,
“The public debt crisis has thus become the great excuse for states to wage the social war and finance capital’s favoured way to reappropriate wealth at the expense of the massive impoverishment of the peoples. It is at the same time the weapon with which the countries in the [European] periphery submit to the central European capitalists and especially to German capitalism.” 1
This crisis will continue and future generation will be worse off than the previous. Many will face poverty and fewer rights while the one per cent will grow ever richer. Few disagree that this is the purpose of the austerity programmes across the whole of Europe.
The struggles in Britain and across Europe need to become one fight. This is beginning for example in Brussels there was a 500 strong lobby against the EU plans to privatise all European rail. Siptu, Ireland, the RMT, Aslef and Unite from Britain and other unions from France, Spain and Hungary came together uniting in struggle against European capital.
It can be done, now we must link general strikes, occupations and demonstrations into one movement, one European working class against the European Union of capital.
Question of time or Capitulation? 
A letter by an activist asks: Have the trade-union leaders “forgot” to go on strike or are there other reasons behind their silence?
Picture the scene, twelve thousand trade unionists marching through Liverpool. Pickets on the gates at hospitals, schools, public buildings and colleges, some standing outside for nine hours. The adrenalin was pumping and the comrades were up for a fight.
It is a fight against some of the most savage cuts trade unionists had ever seen under a “Condem” government. The Health and Social Care Bill, pensions, privatisations etc etc. The trade unions had a mandate to strike after a massive campaign to get the “yes vote”. The unions has six months to stage strikes and unrest before they had to re-ballot therefore they could have called strikes within seven days.
After that great day in November people asked me time and again, “When’s the next strike Larry”, good question I replied, maybe two weeks, maybe sooner, as time went on the less people asked. Eventually people stopped asking questions, it had all gone quiet. It seems that the generals had got their army into position on the front line and then went for a cup of tea and ‘forgot’ to come back.
In March 2012 we have had another ballot about the “Heads of Agreement” the government ‘offer’ which should have been rejected straight away. The fire has gone out of our comrades but minority groups are still fighting with rallies, demo’s and lobbies. As I write this article the Health and Social Welfare bill has been passed. No leaders of the trade unions have been seen in the main stream media, this could be a ploy by the right wing media or the union leaders have capitulated under this government. If this is the case the question must be asked who will now lead the working class in this social war.
Now in April the Unite leadership has been pushed into calling a strike for May 10. We need Unison to join us and we call on our fellow union activists, we need all the unions to support strike action on May 10.
Let’s get that fire back into our members. Let’s get the support from the patients and users of the hospitals.
All out on May 10!
1 - For the full text of the Manifesto of the European Coordination of the IWL click here: Manifesto of the European Coordination of the IWL-FI
2 - Witten by Larry Bowles, Unite shop-steward at the Broadgreen hospital – Liverpool