“Blimey!” was the reaction of one railway worker as he heard about Lennie McCluskey’s call for a general strike in Hyde Park on the massive TUC demo last Saturday. We expected Mark Serwotka and Bob Crow to do that, and they did. The RMT, PCS together with POA had committed to campaigning for a general strike even before the TUC Congress in early September. But here was Len, leader of the gigantic Unite union, asking the crowd to raise their hands if they were in agreement. A forest of hands went up with a roar of approval.
The fact that three general secretaries of some ofthe most militant trade unions put out this call from the podium is extremely significant. So significant, in fact, that the main stream news media have blacked it out! The rich and powerful are terrified of a mass movement building up against their cuts agenda. Even the reporting of the actual fact that more than 150,00 trade unionist were marching through central London, Glasgow and Belfast. This seems to have stuck in the throat of those in control of the media. They would have us believe there is no opposition to austerity or alternative to cuts.
NSSN is proud to have assisted in the campaign to persuade TUC delegates to adopt Motion 5 from POA and seconded by the RMT which called for the TUC to look into the practicalities of organising mass national public/private sector action. It now looks like the general council has been ‘nudged’ to contact unions to start that discussion.
All over the country this week there are follow-up NSSN regional meetings (see list below) to discuss how we can add further mass pressure from below to ensure that the TUC carries out this democratically decided policy. It will not happen if we leave it to the general council alone. As one woman shouted on the demo, “We want a future that works………not a TUC that shirks!”
So come to your regional meeting to discuss with fellow campaigners in your area how to take the struggle forward; get your union branch to adopt the NSSN model motion ; if your union is inactive take it to a meeting of your colleagues at work, send round a petition; send an individual letter; organise a local debate and get the matter raised in your local paper; do whatever you can to add force to the idea that marching on demos is one thing, and we have done that in huge numbers – twice – but it is mass action A 24-HOUR PUBLIC/PRIVATE SECTOR STRIKE that this millionaire government cannot avoid reacting to. Everyone can play a part. So, get stuck in, brothers and sisters!
Linda Taaffe NSSN National Secretary
NSSN Meetings & Conferences coming up:
Defend NHS Workers! SW NSSN Bristol Public meeting Tuesday October 23, 7.30pm
As almost all NHS Trusts in the South West are planning to break away from national collective bargaining, this is an important regional campaign with national implications. Cheltenham Road Library, Bristol, BS6 5OX
Build a one day general strike! Wednesday October 24, 7:30pm
Speakers include Dave Gorton. Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC), Room 1, 35-39 London Street, Reading, RG1 4PS
Fight the NHS cuts! Wednesday October 24, 7.30pm
Tower Room, Twyn Community Centre, Caerphilly
Build a 24 hour general strike. Wednesday October 24, 7pm
Speakers include Chris Baugh – PCS Assistant General Secretary, Steve Hedley – RMT Assistant General Secretary, Suzanne Muna – Unite LE 1111 housing branch secretary & CYWNFP NISC, Frank Morris – sacked Unite Crossrail shop steward
ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
Build for a 24-hour general strike. Saturday October 27, 1pm-3pm
Speakers include Steve Acheson – Unite Construction NISC and Sparks rank & file and Alex Davidson – PCS North West vice-chair
Town Hall Tavern (upstairs), 20 Tib Lane, Manchester City Centre M2 4JA
Shop Stewards network conference. Saturday October 27, 11am-4pm
speakers include Janice Godrich PCS President & Rob Williams NSSN national chair
Glasgow Unison Offices, 84 Bell Street
Defend the NHS & Build for a 24 general Strike! Saturday October 27, 12noon-4pm
Great Western Hotel, Station Road, opposite entrance to the railway station
Midlands NSSN Conference (Birmingham) Saturday 17th November, 12-4pm
Speakers include: Lee Barron CWU Midlands regional secretary , Joe Simpson POA assistant general secretary, Kevin Greenway PCS national executive,
Linda Taaffe National Secretary NSSN, Dave Auger UNISON & Nick Harrison FBU & afternoon workshops on organising the workplace,
fighting to save our NHS & organising against the cuts. Unite offices, 211 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1AY. 1200-1600
Yorkshire & Humer Regional Conference Saturday 24th Nov, 10-4pm
Conference sessions will include sessions to discuss the fight back against austerity and plans to develop the NSSN in Yorkshire, as well as the following workshops: Trade Unions and the Media, Building Trades Councils, Organising Youth & in the Community & Anti-Union Laws, Blacklisting & Victimisation. Cosmopolitan Hotel, 2 Lower Bridgate, Leeds, LS1 4AE
New website: www.shopstewards.net
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 07952 283 558
Post: NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9D
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