The Tory-led government has come forward today with newly revised
proposals on public sector pensions in the wake of the build-up to the
mass strike on November 30th.
The Tory-led government has come forward today with newly revised proposals on public sector pensions in the wake of the build-up to the mass strike on November 30th.
After months of stating that, in effect, what was on the table was the only deal in town, the government has clearly seen the weight of pressure building up over this issue and made some concessions. This, in itself, is a recognition of the correctness of strike action and protest as the only way to fight this government – take note, Mr Miliband!
However, a closer examination of the new deal reveals that there is still much to protest about. Public sector workers will still have to pay more in. Only those in their mid 50’s will still get the original old final-salary pension and not have to work longer – what about the rest of us? Some other payment details are also being improved but not by much. In essence, however, it is still the same cutdown rubbish pension that was presented last summer so far as most public sector workers are concerned. There is also no guarantee that they won’t renege on this new offer at a later stage – ask the Greek workers about this.
Maybe the government is hoping that public sector workers in the 20’s and 30’s are not really interested in pensions and will therefore be happy to accept the deal. They would be wrong on this count. More likely, they are hoping that trade union officials will be willing to seize on this new offer as a "get out of strike" card – using it to put off action on the 30th. This must be resisted. The union leaderships have stated that balloting for strike action will continue and they must be held to the result come what may.The balloting must not be undermined.
In any case, many workers correctly see the Nov 30th action as a general strike against this government and its system. The government is not just attacking the public sector workers on the pensions front, they are also attacking on wages, funding and jobs. They must be resisted. November 30th should go ahead as a day of strikes and protests involving public and private sector workers, students, the unemployed and those who have retired – a mobilisation of millions. This should be the start of action not the end of it. The TUC should stop seeking behind-the-scenes deals with Cameron and co. and start planning proper action. Public sector workers are striking this time, next it should be all workers.
It is time to show this government of millionaires the power of the organised working class. We have had enough of them and their system of chaos and greed. Again, we appeal to all workers and youth to join us in the struggle for socialism and the arming of our movement with a Marxist programme.