Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Links getting stronger as unions build for 30 June strikes

See also Lets make 30 June a day of resistance.

There is now less than a month until the mass co-ordinated strikes on 30 June. If the NUT, PCS and ATL ballots are successful they will join UCU members in the biggest strike against the Tories so far. More than 800,000 workers could be out in defence of pensions and they could be joined by council workers in Birmingham and Doncaster (who are balloting against job cuts) and London postal workers.

This is not just another day in the diary. In the wake of the 26 March TUC protests the strikes on 30 June will put workers resistance centre stage. A powerful strike can combine with the dynamism of the anti-cuts and student movements to create a real challenge to Cameron and Clegg. The need for united action in the face of the cuts is becoming clearer as the days go by. The call for 30 June to be more than just a strike day, for it to be our “day of rage” against the coalition government is gaining more and more support.

The UCU Congress this weekend was animated by this spirit. Every new “post 92” university and further education college, with some 80,000 UCU members will be on strike. Despite moves by UCU leaders that mean strikes are unlikely in the old “pre-92” Universities on 30 June, story after story emerged from activists at the conference about the growing links between the UCU, NUT, PCS and ATL on the ground with plans for local rallies and demonstrations. UCU activists talked of the need to make links with students, pensioners, anti-cuts campaigners and disability rights groups to involve them on picket lines and at protests. The UCU has added its name to the growing list of unions, including CWU, PCS, NUT and NUJ who have now voted to call on the TUC to organise a General Strike across the public sector to stop the government attacks.

"We marched together now we must strike together" is becoming the common sense of the movement. But it will take an enormous fight to turn words and conference motions into reality. We need to be at the heart of fighting to make the 30 June a carnival of resistance for all those who face the Tory onslaught. The 30 June is the bridge to wider action in the autumn. We need to win every worker, every student, every campaigner to see the importance of that date and get in behind building the strikes.

See also 30 June: just three weeks to go

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