|November 30 – biggest strike day EVER|
|Thursday, 24 November 2011 00:31|
| Wednesday will see about three million public sector workers walking out on strike, as civil servants join teachers in opposing government cuts to pensions.PCS, UCU, NUT and ATL had all previously balloted for further industrial action, so their members will be out. But added to them are a seemingly ever-growing list of other trade unions, including Unison, GMB, Unite, UCATT and NASUWT. (To see a more comprehensive list with breakdowns of ballot results, see Who’s out on Nov 30 on libcom.org.)
Nov 30: We’re All In It Together
As UK Prepares for Biggest Strike in Generations….
Well, it’s been a long time coming… Wednesday 30th November will see the first mass strike in the UK for four decades. 17 unions, including the biggest ones Unite, UCU, Unison, various teaching unions and PCS, have balloted to strike on pension reform which will see an estimated 3 million off work and, hopefully, cause massive disruption. Demonstrations and pickets are planned across the country – see http://www.n30strike.org for a complete list. Amongst the strikers are some unlikely suspects: 18,000 Border Agency workers are expected to strike leaving the government having to employ sinister private security firm Serco to take over for a day. Even the National Union of Probation Officers voted to join the strike four-to-one.
The government wants public sector workers to forgo 3% of their salary as pension contributions, which equates to a pay cut. So far workers have had to accept a two year pay freeze during a time of high inflation (in other words a pay cut), if they haven’t already been thrown out on their arse during the waves of mass redundancies (a total pay cut). The government’s arguments are designed to play on long term disgruntlement among the private sector that they have to deal with, on the whole, a shockingly shit pensions scenario and the public sector have had it a bit better off. Rather than aiming to sort out the private pensions mess which leaves millions in poverty on retirement, the PM wants the country to believe the public sector pensions are ‘gold plated’, unfair and unsustainable. Actually, most public workers end up with less than £5000 a year pension. They’ve also been reformed already: through a mix of negotiated and underhand changes, public sector pensions have been reduced to the tune of 25p in each pound over the last few years.
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