13/05/2012 - Defend Public Sector Pensions!

THURSDAY 10 May saw hundreds of thousands of Public Sector workers walk out in yet another effort to protect their pensions, jobs and terms and conditions of employment. 

Everyone knows that the current economic crisis was brought on by the greed of casino capitalists – the bankers, fat cats and speculators.  However, Cameron and Clegg think that ordinary working families should pay for the mistakes of others. 

The austerity agenda of the Con-Dem government has seen jobs slashed, with thousands being thrown onto the scrapheap.  Now they want those in a job to work longer, pay more into their pensions and get less when they retire!

However, this austerity agenda isn’t working.  In fact, it seems to have made things worse.  As the web-site of NIPSA (the Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance) noted:
“it is becoming clearer that the austerity agenda is not resolving any of the economic problems of the UK.  In fact, as confirmed by the UK experiencing a double-dip recession, these policies are contributing to an increase in unemployment among workers in both the public and private sectors.  The attack on public service pensions is at the heart of the government’s austerity agenda.  The 10th May action was important, therefore, demonstrating that the trade unions are prepared to take a lead and show everyone in our society, who is on the receiving end of the government’s unfair and unacceptable austerity agenda, that we can build a broad based movement to defend public services, jobs and pensions and resist the dismantling of the welfare state.”

Among the public sector workers who took part in the 24-hour strike were civil servants, NHS workers - including paramedics - border force staff and lecturers.  About 32,000 off duty police officers (representing all 43 forces in England and Wales) also marched through central London in protest against government cuts to officer numbers.

Although Cameron and Clegg remain pig-headed, resistance to the cuts will continue.  More industrial action is on the cards for June, and at the end of summer.


  • THE next issue of British Worker – the paper of Solidarity Trade Union – will take a look at the issues behind the current crop of public sector strikes.  Look out for issue 7, which should be out soon!  Plans are also well-advanced for issue 1 of English Worker – the paper of Solidarity Trade Union in England.  Watch this space!