How to fight this government – Can privatisation be defeated – Why we need coordinated strike action. These crucial questions will be discussed on picket lines and strike meetings in the coming weeks. Many public sector unions have balloted for strike action or been on strike. Next month, teachers across the South West come out. Firefighters will strike again on pensions. Health, education, fire service and probation are all facing privatisation and swingeing cuts. Now the government has thrown down the gauntlet by selling off Royal Mail.
Recent disputes have shown that we can fight back (notably the victory against blacklisting and the Hovis workers strike over pay and contracts). Geoff Atkinson of the bakers’ union BFAWU spoke of “landmark action by 210 members of a modest-sized union …that could potentially have a positive knock-on effect throughout the entire labour movement” .He believes it “.. can and should be used as a starting point for all UK workers. They should no longer be prepared to accept the driving down of their terms and conditions as part of a nationwide race to the bottom”. RMT workers on the London Underground used health and safety laws to stop work during the 4 hour FBU strike on Thursday. Imagine the effect that coordinated strike action would have.
One of the unions planning strike action is Napo (probation officers) – at our meeting a member of Napo will be speaking about why the union needs to fight privatisation and how it will affect staff, clients and society. What can be done to defeat the government. Why we need a one day general strike.