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) 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, “I was at the Glasgow anti-Bedroom Tax demonstration last Saturday which saw 5,000 working-class people march in a protest reminiscent of the poll tax. Cameron should remember that Thatcher was brought down because of that mass movement. In fact, a 24 hour general strike would be very popular because of the massive anger against these swingeing cuts – from the NHS, welfare, to the continuing pay freeze which has already seen real wages fall by 16%. Already, the PCS are taking national strike action and the teachers are starting a campaign of action at the end of June. Its welcome that there will be a legal opinion whether a general strike will be lawful but in any case, the issues are there for mass strike action if the unions are prepared to co-ordinate strike ballots.”
The NSSN lobby of the TUC General Council is on Wednesday April 24th from 8.30am outside Congress House in Great Russell Street.
NSSN Lobby TUC to circulate.
Email – [email protected]
Website – www.shopstewards.net
Phone Rob Williams on 07816134690
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.