Call for joint strikes and civil disobedience against austerity

TUC congress 2013: It raises the prospect of a ‘Guy Fawkes’ day of protests on November 5 backed by the TUC turning into a bonfire of Coalition policies – Published on MirrorNews, by Mark Ellis, Sept 9, 2013.

Mass joint strikes and peaceful civil disobedience across the country were demanded by union leaders to “wage war on the politics of austerity” today. The call for direct action raises the prospect of a ‘Guy Fawkes’ day of protests on November 5 backed by the TUC turning into a bonfire of Coalition policies. Union leaders at the annual TUC congress in Bournemouth vented their anger and frustration about “attacks” on pay, jobs and conditions by the Tory-led Coalition.  

The Congress approved a motion supporting unions co-ordinating action, including strikes, as the most effective way to break the cycle of pay restraint. Steve Turner, Unite executive director of policy, said there needed to be a mass mobilisation, including peaceful civil disobedience, across the UK “to inspire a generation.” He said the anti-austerity campaign should include mass industrial action to oppose the cuts and the wrecking of the welfare state as “:a legitimate option” as well as a nationwide march against poverty in 2014.

Mr Turner said: ”We are the seventh richest nation on our planet and if we have got the money to propose war on Syria, we’ve got money to wage war on food banks; to put our people back to work; our children into school and university – not debt and despair – and to provide dignity for our elderly.”

Janice Godrich, national president of the civil servants’ Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, outlined some of the realities behind the government’s claims of economic recovery, including:

  • 13 million living in poverty, up by a million since the coalition came to power
  • 1.8 million families on housing waiting lists
  • half a million people now reliant on food banks
  • one million workers languishing on zero hour contracts
  • 2.5 million unemployed and 6.8 million more looking for more work.

Janice said: “It’s recovery for the rich and austerity for the poor” … //

… TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady told delegates that the TUC was ready to co-ordinate industrial action where unions wanted it.

The warnings came as the Communication Workers Union confirmed it will ballot more than 120,000 of its members over issues linked to the Government’s controversial plan to privatise the Royal Mail.

The company will be given formal notice of the ballot later this week, with voting due to start on September 20 and the result expected in early October.

Firefighters have already voted for strikes over pensions, while teachers are to take industrial action in the coming weeks in a long-running dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions.
(full text).

Links:

Trades Union Congress TUC – Britain at work: The national trade union centre in the UK, representing the vast majority of organized workers;

Civil Disobedience: complete work with audio;

his Texts,

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, by HENRY DAVID THOREAU, 28pages, pdf, first published 1849, This PDF ebook was
created by José Menéndez.;

See also The Online Books Page (Listing over 1 million free books on the Web – Updated Tuesday, September 10, 2013);

Henry David Thoreau:

  • on en.wikipedia (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist.[2] He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Resistance to Civil Government (also known as Civil Disobedience), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state. External Links;
  • on good reads;
  • at the open library.org;
  • his Quotes on BrainQuote;
  • on YouTube-search;

(see also: Welcome to our new blog: politics for the 99%).

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