November 30th - all behind the public sector strikers!

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28 Nov 2011

The ConDem campaign against this Wednesday's public sector strike shows just how afraid they really are of any form of collective resistance.

First, they inspired media hysteria about Britain being exposed to a "terrorist threat", due to passport checks not being carried out by striking immigration officers. As if real "terrorists" were stupid enough to travel with the label "terrorist" written all over their passports! But never mind, the army will be used as strike breakers.

Then ministers came out on TV warning that the strike would impose "a significant hit to the economy at a very challenging time". As if the real big "hit to the economy" wasn't the government's own slashing of 240,000 public sector jobs and associated services over the past year!

Finally, in a last-ditch attempt, Danny Alexander, Osborne's Lib-Dem henchman, resorted to blackmail - by warning public sector workers that if no agreement could be reached before the end of the year "any improved deal would be off the table".

The real stakes

But what "improved deal"? Why should public service workers agree to have their pensions cut by even one penny, under the pretext of making up for a budget deficit caused by the bankers' bailout? Why shouldn't the banks, the big companies and their shareholders, which caused the crisis, but are now making billions in profits and dividends out of it, be made to pay for this deficit?

This is the real issue behind Wednesday's strike. The ConDems packaged their attack on public sector pensions by claiming they are "unaffordable to the taxpayer". Never mind that so many public sector pensions are so low, because wages are so low! Above all, for all workers, pensions are merely deferred wages earned throughout their lives. Cutting public sector pensions while increasing contributions, as the government wants to do, is just another way of cutting public sector wages - which are already shrinking due to a wage freeze.

In this respect, all workers, in the private and public sector, are confronted with the same attacks. Whether it is through reducing pension provisions, or through outright wage cuts, or just through the mechanical impact of inflation, the capitalist class is out to reduce the income of the working class. And this comes on top of the on-going job slashing which is taking place across the public and private sector, already resulting in the highest rate of youth unemployment for decades.

So, what is at stake in this Wednesday's strike is whether we, workers, will allow the capitalists and their stooges in government, to make us pay the unaffordable cost of capitalist greed!

Against capitalist looting

More than ever before, it is in the interests of both public and private sector workers to join forces in order to stop these attacks.

But we also have another task ahead of us - sorting out this mad profit system! Because if the working class - which produces all the wealth in this society and is the only class which has no interest in allowing private profit to rule the economy - doesn't take this task upon itself, no-one else will.

We really cannot afford a system in which a few very rich bankers, shareholders and speculators, can bankrupt whole countries. Nor can we afford a system in which the reins of government are left in the hands of men like Miliband or Cameron - trustees of the City, whose only aim is to enforce the wishes of the same very rich capitalists.

Private companies pay record dividends to their shareholders and record pay to their directors. Meanwhile, in his "autumn statement", Osborne offers yet more billions to the banks and bosses out of public funds, in addition to the public money which he continuously feeds into the financial system - all this, allegedly to "boost the economy". But this won't create jobs, nor protect wages or pensions. In fact it will only boost capitalist profits!

It is high time the working class exercised its control over the operation of the economy at every level. Only then will we be able to stop the profit sharks' looting.

November 30th must be a step in that direction. This time round, not all workers will be out, despite the fact that we all have the same reasons to strike: union leaders wouldn't hear of it, for fear of upsetting their boss- and politician-"partners". Yet the louder the voice of the working class, the more likely the impact - and the more confidence workers will gain in their own strength to change society.