We’re now less than a week away from the largest co-ordinated industrial action the UK has seen for decades – perhaps since the General Strike of 1926. Around three million workers will be out on strike next Wednesday – in effect, most of the public sector, from over twenty different trade unions.
That’s over twenty different groups of workers who’ve collectively said they’ve had enough of the government’s constant attacks on wages and conditions, and have now balloted for action – with the strikes in most cases winning big majorities. A strike of this scale is virtually unprecedented: nearly every school in Scotland will be shut, as will large sections of the NHS, council services, universities and colleges, job centres and tax and benefit offices, courts and other public services.
30 November has huge potential to be a big show of strength. It will not, by itself, bring down the government, but an effective day of action can place enormous pressure on them, and hopefully lead to more. This is absolutely crucial – so far the government have offered only token concessions in the dispute over pensions, with new proposals on line to make employees work longer, pay 3 percent more in contributions AND receive a lower pension at the end of it. But the strike is about much more than just pensions – sparked by years of relentless attacks on public sector pay and conditions, compounded by a three year pay freeze.
So what can you do on the day?
Next Wednesday can be a mass day of resistance for everyone in the public sector and beyond. Walkouts, occupations, pickets, demonstrations and marches – all are useful tactics in turning the struggle into Every school, uni and college is likely to be shut on the day, giving students the opportunity to pour onto the streets in support of the strikes. Student feeder marches have been organised in both Glasgow and Edinburgh on the day, ahead of the main trade union organised rallies.
Picket! If you work somewhere going on strike that day, effective picketing can be hugely important in shutting down a workplace and ensuring the day is a success. If you’re not striking, you can still go and show your support – UK Uncut have made a national call out for people to go and show some solidaritea at their local picket lines.
Demonstrate! March, rallies and events are happening across the country. Find a local action here: http://www.n30strike.org/
Walk out! Most schools, colleges and unis will be shut due to staff striking – but in the even of your classes running, organise a walkout and head to the nearest rally or picket line.
Retweet! Share! Propagandise! The Tories and their chums in the media have already gone on the offensive, trying to create a fake division between public sector workers and those in the private sector. Speak to everyone you know and tell them the facts about the strikes.