Globe, Trade Unions, United Kingdom, Workers

Public sector strike on 30th November

In London, we expect the largest union mobilization in history with more than 1 million.

Leticia Leermark

The unions have called for the convening of a “national day of action” to protest about the pensions of public sector workers.

Teachers, teaching assistants, fire-fighters, nurses, social workers, school meals assistants and hospital cleaning staff, among others are to vote in the dispute over public sector pensions. The results of which will be known on 3rd November.

Unison called for the strike to be held on 30th November from midnight until 23:30 which will involve; Unite, GMB and the Fire Brigades Union with a further 10 unions expected to participate.

This is the first time the union has called upon all members to vote and they expect a majority ‘yes’ vote.

The unions and the government have met and discussed the issue of pensions with ministers who say that this change planned for next April, is necessary to make sustainable plans, applicable to an aging society.

Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis, said the union is fighting for the future of pensions.

Public sector workers face increased contributions and a later retirement age. “We are doing everything possible to get a high turnout and we have confidence in a ‘yes’ majority vote”.

Prentis said in a press conference: “This is a fight not only on whether it is right to increase contributions, but also a struggle for the survival of public pension schemes”, he added.

The truth is that for eight months the unions have been addressing the issue of pensions, without making any progress.

It was decided to strike in pursuit of new measures, including an ongoing program of stoppages, which would protect essential public services, which would continue on the days of strikes.

The head of the TUC, Brendan Barber, urged members to ‘participate in a true spirit of seeking to reach an agreement’ and end the stalemate.

However, as the voice of opposition, the chancellor George Osborne, branded the strike as deeply irresponsible.

Controversial or not, this strike is necessary and will have massive input from other members of society, including employers and employees, and other sectors of society, such as students, the unemployed and workers in precarious conditions have shown solidarity and support against government measures.

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(Translated by Melissa Mae-Thompson)

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