IF TALKS between the Con-Dem Government and unions don’t work out, around two million workers could go on strike towards the end of November.
That was the stark warning from last week’s Trades Union Congress Annual Meeting.
Cameron and Clegg seem determined to extend their ‘slash and burn’ policy to pensions. Not content with slashing thousands of public sector jobs, they now want to rip up various existing pensions agreements.
With the possibility of a double-dip recession, many ordinary British workers are finding it hard enough to make ends meet. But now the government wants them to increase their pension contributions!
Not surprisingly, public sector workers – in effect, the backbone of Britain – aren’t taking this lying down. Therefore, some unions are preparing to hold ballots for strikes with the aim of co-ordinating industrial action. Others are planning lunchtime meetings, rallies and joint events with community groups and service users.
As the TUC’s recent statement on pensions notes:
“The intention will be to take the call for pensions justice for both public and private sector workers to every corner of the land on that day in the biggest trade union mobilisation in a generation.” (1)
Those possibly taking industrial action – set for November 30 – include care workers, social workers, hospital porters, refuse workers, healthcare assistants, teaching assistants, paramedics, 999 control room staff, grave-diggers and hundreds of thousands of other front-line public-sector workers.