Greens call for united public sector strike

Reading this, I wonder, could the Greens be the next party of labour in England?

Greens support united strike action over public sector pay
24th Jul 2008


Greens call on public sector unions to work together to defeat pay cuts.

Derek Wall, the Green Party’s Male Principal Speaker, has called for trade unions to put increased pressure on the Government and public sector employers by uniting to carry out strike action, in opposition to attempts to impose pay cuts.

Last week over 500,000 local government workers across the country – including care assistants, refuse collectors, cleaners, teaching assistants and social workers – took industrial action because employers are attempting to impose pay cuts. The employers “final offer” amounted to just 2.45 per cent, whilst food prices have risen over 9 per cent in the last year and energy bills by 15 per cent.

In the wake of a national two-day walkout by UNISON and Unite last week, many union activists are discussing the potential for joint action between unions across different sectors.

In Scotland, a local government dispute is likely to lead to strike action, whilst a decision by the National Executive Committee of the National Union of Teachers resolved to ballot for further discontinuous strike action in late September. Civil servants union, the PCS, is also to ballot its public sector membership for twelve weeks of discontinuous action. In June, delegates of the Communications Workers Union voted unanimously for strike action against pension cuts, post office and mail centre closures, and up to 40,000 job losses.

Derek Wall stated, “What public sector workers are asking for is entirely fair – that they are not forced to pay for economic problems which they are not responsible for.”

“Further strike action is being planned now and Greens believe that this should be coordinated between trade unions as much as is possible.”

“United action can force the hand of the employers and overturn their plans to impose pay cuts. All public sector workers deserve a pay rise not only to cover inflation, but to make up for 10 years of below inflation pay deals, which are pay cuts in all but name.”

The Green Party has a record of championing trade union activism, from defending attacks on public services to advocating the repeal of the anti-trade union laws introduced by the Conservatives and left in place by Labour. On the London Assembly, Green Party Members were integral in establishing the Living Wage Unit aiming to lift London’s lowest paid workers out of the poverty trap.

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On your bike, Cameron

He’s had his bike nicked, of course, but that’s beside the point.

Here’s the point(s).

Dave’s trying to convince us he cares about working class families by promising to fund a 100,000 apprenticeships if he wins the next election. ‘Cause, like, they’ve done a lot for the unemployed in the past… (Cameron and his “New” Tories were on the scene when the Old Tories were in office. The economic policies haven’t changed, and won’t change under another Tory administration.)

He’s so committed to saving the discredited centralised British state that he’s working on a merger with the Ulster Unionists – well, it’s not as if the Tories are having any luck in Scotland or Wales. Since the UUP is the second-largest unionist party in the North of Ireland, it would appear the Tories are not having much luck in Ireland, either.

And despite his talk of empowering people, Cameron is said to have overruled the Welsh Conservatives‘ support for a petition on the Welsh Assembly becoming a full parliamentary body.

And don’t worry, I’ll give Gordon Brown a literary kicking on the morrow.

Making a spectacle of myself

I seem to have been interviewed by The Pakistani Spectator. It’s just as well I’m not famous, really. Some of the answers I give are terrible.

Would you please tell us something about you and your site?

Rebellion Sucks! has been going for over a year now. It’s focus is on the struggle of working people in England to improve their lives by organising and gaining political representation.

My intention is to spread socialist and anti-imeprialist ideas using blogging technology. I want to encourage working people to examine their role in society and that of the class which profits from their labour, become more conscious of the economic motive behind the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the need to bring the armed forces home from these imperialist wars.

I have made an effort to highlight the English Question – that because Britain is not a federal state, it’s largest nation lacks any form of devolved government, which has been granted to Scotland, and to a lesser extent, Wales. It is my view that the establishment of an English parliament will assist the working class in winning beneficial reforms, as has happened in Scotland and Wales, and will help the development of an inclusive national identity based upon secular civic institutions rather than exclusively on ethnicity or religious faith.

Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?

I have become more reliant upon quoting other sources – why repeat badly what someone else has already said adequately?

I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?

Most memorable was my part in preventing the billionaire Alisher Usmanov from censoring the writer and former diplomat Craig Murray by reproducing his article in full. the article concerned Usmanov’s past, somthing he did not want publicised as he was attempting to purchase a football team. Many other bloggers took part in this action which lead the mainstream media to report Usmanov’s alleged criminal past.

What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?

I occasionally post comments on their blog entries – if I have something to say.

What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?

The social networking site Facebook is used by many activists in politics and the trade union movement to co-ordinate campaigns and publicise activities.

Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?

It allows more people to make their opinion known and hopefully encourages a broader debate than that allowed by the state or corporate media.

What do you think sets Your site apart from others?

The focus on both working class struggle and national self-determination.

If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?

Good manners.

What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?

I’m not going to get personal here, so these are the political highs and lows of recent years… The gloomiest moment was being unable, along with millions of other people, to prevent my country participating in the US-led wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. The happiest was learning that the people of Ireland had rejected further military and political integration with the European Union in a referendum.

If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?

Peru, New Zealand, and China.

What is your favorite book and why?

The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels, it’s nice to read a political tract that is so clear and concise.

What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?

If they listen as much as they speak.

Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?

No.

How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?

I don’t know. I don’t think they should, actually. Blogging should be for fun and for free.

Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?

No, some people are skilled writers.

What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?

Be willing to engage with those one does not agree with and debate the issues instead of using insults.

Who are your top five favourite bloggers?

Louise Whittle of Harpy Marx, Richard Seymour of Lenin’s Tomb, Stuart Parr of Wonko’s World, Andy Newman of Socialist Unity, and John McDonnell of Another World Is Possible,

Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?

That Alisher Usmanov post.

What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?

That there is an ongoing struggle for popular sovereignty, national independence, and social justice.

Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?

No.

What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?

Perhaps that in the so-called “developing” world there is a greater awareness of imperialism and its history,

What is the future of blogging?

More blogging.

You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?

Negatively.

What are your future plans?

More blogging, I suppose.

Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?

Please visit my blog and tell me what you think of it.