Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Strikes and South London

A quick post in solidarity with tomorrow's public sector strike. The explicit issue is public sector pensions, but of course the strikes also represent the anger and bitterness of stupid and pointless spending cuts which put public service workers into unemployment or precarious employment and extra work, as well as drastically affect services to the most vulnerable members of our communities.

It seems the strike is popular with the public, despite efforts from the government and mainstream media to create panic and blame. As I wrote the other day:
Private sector workers have no solidarity with public sector workers, who they see as tax-eating parasites with cushy pensions. Working people have no solidarity with the benefit claimants who are falling into deeper and deeper poverty because of austerity measures, because they resent them not working. The low-paid have no solidarity for the “squeezed middle”, who they see as privileged whiners. The settled have no solidarity with immigrants, who are among the most vulnerable in the crisis, because they see them as jumping the queue and taking what others are entitled to.... This challenge, the reconstruction of solidarity, is the most important task we face today.*
Locally, Transpontine provides some news from the frontline in New Cross and Lewisham and screens a strike video made locally, and ELL covers the higher education sector.

While I'm here, a story from South London that caught my eye: the South London Solidarity Federation intervened in a pay dispute at a Bermondsey pub, and got a result. Big society from below. See also Josh Hall's report. He concludes:
November 30 will be an important day in recent labour history – but it will be but the faintest taster of what is coming in 2012. As the crisis deepens, as job losses increase, as youth unemployment continues to spiral, and as employment rights are decimated, we should be prepared to organise – inside the union infrastructure when it is convenient, and outside it when it is insufficient.
ADDED: List of activities across London via Jim J. Also activities at Goldsmiths here and an interactive map from False Economy. On Twitter, follow #N30, #nov30, #righttostrike, and PhilTranspontine, and Jim.

*Self-quote lightly edited.

1 comment:

Jim Jepps said...

Hi Bob,

I've tried to put a list together of the various things going on on Wednesday around the strike here;

http://www.bigsmoke.org.uk/?p=13515

Something for everyone :)