the public sector workers might not be all out on the streets or on all
out strike, it would be a big mistake to think that the government is
out of the woods on the question of the wage cuts and the attacks on
the public sector. 70,000 SIPTU workers joined the work to rule
yesterday and the CPSU have escalated their action and are balloting
for full strike action. The workers are digging in for what could be a
long haul. At the same time however the employers are threatening to
stop deductions of union dues and stopping facility time for union
members have to be prepared for these sorts of attacks from the bosses
and it’s important that regular meetings take place to keep members
informed and to monitor the actions of the management. It’s important
that the employers know that any attacks will be countered and that the
action will be escalated if there are any provocations.
government are talking tough and refusing to consider a deal on the
wage cuts if the unions call off the action. But this is a battle of
living forces. For example, it is vital to build the maximum support
for the action among the private sector workers. The bosses have
attempted to try and drive a wedge between public and private sector
workers. We’ve explained many times that there is no brick wall between
the two. But the unions have to campaign and explain the class
questions that unite workers.
must expose the fact that when the press and the government talk about
“The Private Sector” they don’t mean ordinary workers, they get their
instructions straight from the organ grinder. Who does the Fianna Fáil
represent in this situation? They represent the same speculators and
bosses that are trying to make us pay for the crisis in their system.
Cowen and the FF leadership know that they will be crucified at the
next election, so this is a no holds barred assault on the working
class. It’s a similar position to the situation in Britain under
Thatcherism. The ruling class need to try and assert their authority
and “put their house in order”. However, that’s not the end of the
matter; in fact the government is in a real crisis. They have no
solutions. Indeed cutting wages and slashing services only serves to
cut the market further and deepen the crisis.
must be no let up on the pressure being applied to the government in
the public sector. Likewise there must be no let up on the pressure
being applied to the union leaderships. The campaign has to be backed
up by the threat of escalation. Ultimately the only way to win this
battle is on the basis of the full mobilisation of the trade union
movement. The struggle must have a focus, that focus should be a 24
hour public sector general strike.