Union members to lobby TUC to name the date for a general strike

A union rank and file organisation will be lobbying the TUC General Council on April 24th for the TUC to name the date for a 24 hour general strike against the ConDem austerity offensive. As the Financial Times reports today (‘Unions split over call for 24 hour general strike’ – April 3rd), the leaders of the trade unions will be meeting this month to discuss the idea of a general strike. The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) which was iniated by the RMT in 2006, welcomes this debate but will be calling for them to set a date for such mass action. The NSSN organised a 1000-strong lobby of union activists at the TUC Congress in Brighton last September, where a motion from the prison officers’ union POA mandating the TUC to “consider the practicalities of a general strike” was overwhelmingly passed. The discussion at the TUC General Council is a direct consequence of that vote.

NSSN national chair Rob Williams said, “When people try to remember where they were when they heard that Maggie Thatcher had died, their reaction will tell us everything about her legacy – Cameron and Clegg’s austerity Britain. The millionaires, including two-thirds of the Cabinet, will think of the 5% tax cut they started to pocket on the first day of the new tax year. But 8 April was also the day the vicious axing of Disability Living Allowance was implemented, alongside April’s other brutal changes that will attack the poor, the unemployed, and the disabled such as the Bedroom Tax. As the incredible 35,000-strong NHS demonstration in Stafford last Saturday shows, ordinary people are prepared to fight but they are just looking for a lead. If the TUC and the unions named the date for a 24 hour general strike or co-ordinated strike ballots on the pay freeze alone, it would be hugely popular with all those facing these brutal cuts.”

  • CWU union conference reaffirms support for 24 hour general strike
  • TV Producer supports call for general strike

On the eve of the TUC General Council on April 24th, which is being lobbied by the National Shop Stewards Network, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) yesterday voted overwhelmingly at its annual conference to reaffirm the union’s support for a 24 hour general strike against the ConDem Coalition’s austerity offensive. The union has also launched a campaign to fight the government’s planned sell-off of Royal Mail

Also, Producer Tony Garnett who has collaborated with film maker Ken Loach lent his support to the call for mass strike action.

“Everyone must work together to fight for jobs, housing, education and the NHS. A determined general strike would begin the fight back of the people against the bankers and the rich tax dodgers who are ruining people’s lives.” Tony Garnett Producer ‘Days of Hope’  – General strike.

The NSSN lobby of the TUC General Council is on Wednesday April 24th from 8.30am outside Congress House in Great Russell Street.

The NSSN was initiated by the RMT in 2006 and is holding its 7th annual conference in London on June 29th. Speakers include PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.