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From: The Socialist issue 866, 5 August 2015: Stop NHS cuts

Search site for keywords: National Shop Stewards Network - TUC - Brighton - NSSN - Shop Stewards - Workers - Government - Union - Strike - Unions - General strike - Trade unions - Trade union

Kill the bill!

Join the National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC

Fighting for trade union rights, photo Paul Mattsson

Fighting for trade union rights, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Why I'm going

Scott Jones, member of shop workers' union Usdaw (personal capacity)

It's clear that trade unions instil fear and panic in the ranks of the Tories. The organised working class still holds power in its hands. Why else would the government attempt to tighten the noose further on workers' ability to defend themselves, and fight the bosses for better working lives?

We have some of the most restrictive trade union laws in Europe. Thatcher first made the attacks in the 1980s, and they were retained under 13 years of Labour. The current government wants even more vicious legislation.

Hypocrisy

One of the new measures requires some workplaces to have 40% of members (whether they vote or not) in favour to be allowed to strike. This is complete hypocrisy from a government elected by 24% of those eligible to vote.

It was made clear in Osborne's budget, billions of pounds of cuts are on their way. The government intends to stifle opposition by weakening the ability of the organised working class to fight.

But workers won't take this onslaught lying down. There have been many strikes and protests since the election. The most magnificent is the ongoing action on the tube. Unions completely shut down the capital in July and are set to do so again now.

If these strikes and protests were co-ordinated into a colossal movement against the anti-union laws and cuts, they couldn't be implemented. That would threaten the ability of the Tories to govern at all.

General strike

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) still has in its armoury the 2012 decision to investigate organising a general strike. Now is the time to use it. That is what I, and other trade unionists, will call on it to do when the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobbies TUC congress, its big annual policy meeting.

I will be marching on behalf of thousands of shop workers and Usdaw members who were attacked in the budget and want to fight back. I will also be marching to call on the TUC, the official representatives of our class, to fight along with us in this escalation of the Tories' war on workers.

Come to the NSSN lobby - tell the TUC it's time to demonstrate and strike together!

www.shopstewards.net


NSSN public rally and lobby of TUC Congress in Brighton

Speakers to include:

1pm Sunday 13 September

Charlotte Room in the Grand Hotel, 97-99 King's Rd BN1 2FW

(next to the Brighton Conference Centre)

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 5 August 2015

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RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo by G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June. Photo G Freeman

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